Microstructural investigation and identification of intermetallic σ-phase in solution annealed 316L-type austenitic stainless steel

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Microstructural investigation and identification of intermetallic σ-phase in solution annealed 316L-type austenitic stainless steel. / Lescur, Amke; Stergar, Erich; Lim, Jun; Hertelé, Stijn; Petrov, Roumen.

In: Materials Characterization, Vol. 182, 111524, 20.10.2021, p. 1-8.

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@article{d82b7ed51fdd4db6acf934099a966c9b,
title = "Microstructural investigation and identification of intermetallic σ-phase in solution annealed 316L-type austenitic stainless steel",
abstract = "MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications) is an accelerator driven system, currently under development at SCK CEN in Mol, Belgium. This nuclear system will use liquid Lead-Bismuth eutectic alloy as a spallation target for fast neutron production and as coolant. The ideal structural material for a liquid metal cooled reactor should be unsusceptible to both liquid metal embrittlement and liquid metal corrosion, while possessing high toughness. Nuclear grade austenitic stainless steels similar to AISI 316L have therefore been chosen as the main candidate structural materials for MYRRHA. In the framework of the qualification of those candidates, a specific batch of this material has shown unexpectedly poor mechanical properties, which triggered the need of in-depth microstructural analysis. The behaviour was attributed to the unexpected and undesired presence of intermetallic σ-phase. The σ-phase was identified with a high confidence by combining the data for chemical composition from energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and crystallographic information from electron backscatter diffraction by comparing simulated Kikuchi diffraction patterns with experimentally recorded ones. At first sight the optical appearance of σ-phase resembles δ-ferrite islands, which results in the risk of overlooking this when only classical material qualification methods are used. When left undetected, testing this material including the brittle σ-phase in a liquid metal environment, in combination with miniature mechanical test specimens, could lead to misinterpretation of embrittlement of the austenitic matrix.",
keywords = "316L, Intermetallic σ-phase, Mechanical testing, Microstructure, EBSD, EDX",
author = "Amke Lescur and Erich Stergar and Jun Lim and Stijn Hertel{\'e} and Roumen Petrov",
note = "Score=10",
year = "2021",
month = oct,
day = "20",
doi = "10.1016/j.matchar.2021.111524",
language = "English",
volume = "182",
pages = "1--8",
journal = "Materials Characterization",
issn = "1044-5803",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Microstructural investigation and identification of intermetallic σ-phase in solution annealed 316L-type austenitic stainless steel

AU - Lescur, Amke

AU - Stergar, Erich

AU - Lim, Jun

AU - Hertelé, Stijn

AU - Petrov, Roumen

N1 - Score=10

PY - 2021/10/20

Y1 - 2021/10/20

N2 - MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications) is an accelerator driven system, currently under development at SCK CEN in Mol, Belgium. This nuclear system will use liquid Lead-Bismuth eutectic alloy as a spallation target for fast neutron production and as coolant. The ideal structural material for a liquid metal cooled reactor should be unsusceptible to both liquid metal embrittlement and liquid metal corrosion, while possessing high toughness. Nuclear grade austenitic stainless steels similar to AISI 316L have therefore been chosen as the main candidate structural materials for MYRRHA. In the framework of the qualification of those candidates, a specific batch of this material has shown unexpectedly poor mechanical properties, which triggered the need of in-depth microstructural analysis. The behaviour was attributed to the unexpected and undesired presence of intermetallic σ-phase. The σ-phase was identified with a high confidence by combining the data for chemical composition from energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and crystallographic information from electron backscatter diffraction by comparing simulated Kikuchi diffraction patterns with experimentally recorded ones. At first sight the optical appearance of σ-phase resembles δ-ferrite islands, which results in the risk of overlooking this when only classical material qualification methods are used. When left undetected, testing this material including the brittle σ-phase in a liquid metal environment, in combination with miniature mechanical test specimens, could lead to misinterpretation of embrittlement of the austenitic matrix.

AB - MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications) is an accelerator driven system, currently under development at SCK CEN in Mol, Belgium. This nuclear system will use liquid Lead-Bismuth eutectic alloy as a spallation target for fast neutron production and as coolant. The ideal structural material for a liquid metal cooled reactor should be unsusceptible to both liquid metal embrittlement and liquid metal corrosion, while possessing high toughness. Nuclear grade austenitic stainless steels similar to AISI 316L have therefore been chosen as the main candidate structural materials for MYRRHA. In the framework of the qualification of those candidates, a specific batch of this material has shown unexpectedly poor mechanical properties, which triggered the need of in-depth microstructural analysis. The behaviour was attributed to the unexpected and undesired presence of intermetallic σ-phase. The σ-phase was identified with a high confidence by combining the data for chemical composition from energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and crystallographic information from electron backscatter diffraction by comparing simulated Kikuchi diffraction patterns with experimentally recorded ones. At first sight the optical appearance of σ-phase resembles δ-ferrite islands, which results in the risk of overlooking this when only classical material qualification methods are used. When left undetected, testing this material including the brittle σ-phase in a liquid metal environment, in combination with miniature mechanical test specimens, could lead to misinterpretation of embrittlement of the austenitic matrix.

KW - 316L

KW - Intermetallic σ-phase

KW - Mechanical testing

KW - Microstructure

KW - EBSD

KW - EDX

UR - https://ecm.sckcen.be/OTCS/llisapi.dll/open/46094560

U2 - 10.1016/j.matchar.2021.111524

DO - 10.1016/j.matchar.2021.111524

M3 - Article

VL - 182

SP - 1

EP - 8

JO - Materials Characterization

JF - Materials Characterization

SN - 1044-5803

M1 - 111524

ER -

ID: 7213712