Radiation-induced strengthening and absorption of dislocation loops in ferritic Fe–Cr alloys: the role of Cr segregation

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The understanding of radiation-induced strengthening in ferritic FeCr-based steels remains an essential issue in the assessment of materials for fusion and fission reactors. Both early and recent experimental works on Fe–Cr alloys reveal Cr segregation on radiation-induced nanostructural features (mainly dislocation loops), whose impact on the modification of the mechanical response of the material might be key for explaining quantitatively the radiation-induced strengthening in these alloys. In this work, we use molecular dynamics to study systematically the interaction of dislocations with 1/2〈111〉 and 〈100〉 loops in all possible orientations, both enriched by Cr atoms and undecorated, for different temperatures, loop sizes and dislocation velocities. The configurations of the enriched loops have been obtained using a non-rigid lattice Monte Carlo method. The study reveals that Cr segregation influences the interaction mechanisms with both 1/2〈111〉 and 〈100〉 loops. The overall effect of Cr enrichment is to penalize the mobility of intrinsically glissile 1/2〈111〉 loops, modifying the reaction mechanisms as a result. The following three most important effects associated with Cr enrichment have been revealed: (i) absence of dynamic drag; (ii) suppression of complete absorption; (iii) enhanced strength of small dislocation loops (2 nm and smaller). Overall the effect of the Cr


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2013


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