Object kinetic Monte Carlo study of the effect of grain boundaries in martensitic Fe–Cr–C alloys

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  • Université Lille - 1 Science et Technologie - France

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Fe–Cr–C alloys with chromium concentrations in the range from 2 to 12 wt.% form ferritic-martensitic structures by rapid cooling from the austenite state already in the presence of relatively low carbon concentrations. In this process it is possible to obtain different ratios of ferrite and martensite, as well as formation of carbides, by varying the thermal treatment. The presence of ferrite or martensite might have an influence on the nanostructural evolution under irradiation of these alloys. Here, considering a tempered martensite reference alloy with 9% Cr, we make use of an already validated object kinetic Monte Carlo (OKMC) model in order to study the possible effect of the formation of martensite laths on the material nanostructural evolution under neutron irradiation, assuming that the relevant boundaries act as sinks for radiation defects. The results show that the reduction of the grain size (including in this definition the average size of prior austenite grains, packets, blocks, and laths) does not play any relevant role until sizes of the order of 0.5 mm are reached: for smaller grains, the number of defects being absorbed by the boundaries becomes dominant. However, this threshold is lower than the experimentally observed martensite lath dimensions, thereby suggesting that what makes the difference in martensitic Fe–Cr–C alloys with respect to ferrite, concerning events and mechanisms taking place during irradiation, are not the lath boundaries as sinks. Differences between the nanostructural evolution under neutron irradiation in ferrite and martensite should therefore be ascribed to other factors.


Original languageEnglish
Article number213
Pages (from-to)2981–2987
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica Status Solidi (A)
Issue number10.1002/pssa.201600294
StatePublished - 30 Aug 2016


  • grain size, martensitic alloys, nanostructural evolution, neutron irradiation, OKMC

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