Liquid metal embrittlement susceptibility of ferritic–martensitic steel in liquid lead alloys

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The susceptibility of T91 and EUROFER97 to liquid metal embrittlement (LME) in lead alloys has been examined under various conditions. These steels, similar in microstructure and mechanical properties in the unirradiated condition were tested for their susceptibility to LME as function of temperature (150–450 °C) and strain rate (1.10-3 – 1.10-6 s-1). Also, the influence of pre-exposure and surface stress concentrators was evaluated for both steels in, respectively, liquid PbBi and PbLi environment. To assess the LME effect, results of the tests in liquid metal environment are compared with tests in air or inert gas environment. Although both unirradiated and irradiated smooth ferritic–martensitic steels do not show any or little deterioration of mechanical properties in liquid lead alloy environment compared to their mechanical properties in gas as function of temperature and strain rate, pre-exposure or the presence of surface stress concentrators does lead to a significant decrease in total elongation for certain test conditions depending on the type of liquid metal environment. The results are discussed in terms of wetting enhanced by liquid metal corrosion or crack initiation processes.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-329
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
EventIVth International Workshop on Materials for HLM cooled reactors and related technologies - Rome, Italy
Duration: 21 May 200723 May 2007


  • LME, SSRT, EUROFER97, T91, lead-lithium eutectic, lead-bismuth eutectic

ID: 348946