Compatibility of structural materials with liquid lead-bismuth eutectic

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis

Institutes & Expert groups

Documents & links



In recent years interest in Heavy Liquid Metal Coolants was revived owing to the development of Generation IV nuclear reactors, experimental and demonstration fusion reactors and accelerator driven nuclear systems. The goal of this work is to investigate the effects of liquid lead bismuth eutectic (LBE) on the engineering properties (namely strength and ductility) of several materials, martensitic steel T91 and austenitic steel AISI316L. The research started with investigation on the general liquid metal corrosion effects. At higher temperatures T91 had a better corrosion resistance than A316L and conversely below this temperature A316L material corroded at much lower rates. Parallel with this experiment, an installation for mechanical tests in liquid LBE was designed and constructed. No experimental evidence was observed that the investigated materials are sensitive to liquid metal embrittlement (LME) in their as received condition. At the beginning of this work no experimental data was available about the effect of both liquid metal and particle irradiation on the metal properties. Therefore a primary concern was the irradiation induced hardening of T91. The obtained results unequivocally show that neither T91 nor other ferritic martensitic steels selected for Gen IV or other advanced liquid metal reactors are sensitive to LME.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • KUL - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Bogaerts, W., Supervisor, External person
  • Blanpain, B., Supervisor, External person
Place of PublicationLeuven, Belgium
  • KUL - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Print ISBNs978-90-5682-759-5
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2007


  • Heavy liquid metal coolants, corrosion, embrittlement

ID: 378835