Anisotropic radiation-induced segregation in 316L austenitic stainless steel with grain boundary character

CM Barr and GA Vetterick and KA Unocic and K Hattar and XM Bai and ML Taheri, ACTA MATERIALIA, 67, 145-155 (2014).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2013.11.060

Radiation-induced segregation (RIS) and subsequent depletion of chromium along grain boundaries has been shown to be an important factor in irradiation-assisted stress corrosion cracking in austenitic face- centered cubic (fcc)-based alloys used for nuclear energy systems. A full understanding of RIS requires examination of the effect of the grain boundary character on the segregation process. Understanding how specific grain boundary structures respond under irradiation would assist in developing or designing alloys that are more efficient at removing point defects, or reducing the overall rate of deleterious Cr segregation. This study shows that solute segregation is dependent not only on grain boundary misorientation, but also on the grain boundary plane, as highlighted by markedly different segregation behavior for the Sigma 3 incoherent and coherent grain boundaries. The link between RIS and atomistic modeling is also explored through molecular dynamic simulations of the interaction of vacancies at different grain boundary structures through defect energetics in a simple model system. A key insight from the coupled experimental RIS measurements and corresponding defect grain boundary modeling is that grain boundary vacancy formation energy may have a critical threshold value related to the major alloying elements' solute segregation. (c) 2013 Acta Materialia Inc Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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