Impact of neutron irradiation on the strength and ductility of pure and ZrC reinforced tungsten grades

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  • Institute of Solid State Physics - Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • TUD - Delft University of Technology
  • UGent - Universiteit Gent
  • UCL - Université catholique de Louvain

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environment, are studied before and after neutron irradiation using uniaxial tensile tests. The first product is a commercially pure tungsten, produced by AT&M company according to ITER specification, and the second one is reinforced with zirconium carbide (WeZrC) particles. The addition of ZrC particles leads to a reduction of the ductile to brittle transition temperature (DBTT) in non-irradiated conditions down to 50e100 C without loss of strength and of other attractive properties of tungsten. The neutron irradiation was performed in the range 625e700 C up to 1.125 dpa. The tests were performed to screen the shift of the DBTT as well as to characterize the evolution of the strength and ductility at the irradiation temperature. In addition, a series of interrupted tensile tests were performed in order to determine the variation of the yield strength as a function of temperature using an original single specimen test method. The neutron irradiation causes the reduction of the total elongation of both tungsten products. The DBTT range, which was evaluated from the tensile test results, of WeZrC lies in the 300e500 C range (while it is ~100 C in non-irradiated state). The DBTT range of pure tungsten is between 400 and 575 C i.e. higher than that of WeZrC. The irradiation hardening, measured at ~600 C, which is close to the irradiation temperature, leads to an increase of the proof stress by a factor of two in both studied grades. Despite that the irradiation induced hardening, both products retain a total elongation of about 10% prior to fracture. WeZrC exhibits a similar total elongation at 500 C, thus maintaining a significant ductility resource, while pure W becomes brittle at 500 C and below.


Original languageEnglish
Article number152226
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2020


  • Tungsten, Neutron irradiation, Tensile test, Single specimen test, DBTT

ID: 6868921