skip to main content


Title: A combined APT and SANS investigation of α' phase precipitation in neutron-irradiated model FeCrAl alloys

Here, FeCrAl alloys are currently under consideration for accident-tolerant fuel cladding applications in light water reactors owing to their superior high-temperature oxidation and corrosion resistance compared to the Zr-based alloys currently employed. However, their performance could be limited by precipitation of a Cr-rich α' phase that tends to embrittle high-Cr ferritic Fe-based alloys. In this study, four FeCrAl model alloys with 10–18 at.% Cr and 5.8–9.3 at.% Al were neutron-irradiated to nominal damage doses up to 7.0 displacements per atom at a target temperature of 320 °C. Small angle neutron scattering techniques were coupled with atom probe tomography to assess the composition and morphology of the resulting α' precipitates. It was demonstrated that Al additions partially destabilize the α' phase, generally resulting in precipitates with lower Cr contents when compared with binary Fe-Cr systems. The precipitate morphology evolution with dose exhibited a transient coarsening regime akin to previously observed behavior in aged Fe-Cr alloys. Similar behavior to predictions of the LSW/UOKV models suggests that α' precipitation in irradiated FeCrAl is a diffusion-limited process with coarsening mechanisms similar to those in thermally aged high-Cr ferritic alloys.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; AC07-051D14517
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Acta Materialia
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 129; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1359-6454
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Nuclear Science User Facility (NSUF)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; irradiated metals; precipitation; atom probe tomography (APT); neutron diffraction; ferritic steels
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1397851