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Title: Thermodynamic and kinetic modeling of Mn-Ni-Si precipitates in low-Cu reactor pressure vessel steels

Formation of large volume fractions of Mn-Ni-Si precipitates (MNSPs) causes excess irradiation embrittlement of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels at high, extended-life fluences. Thus, a new and unique, semi-empirical cluster dynamics model was developed to study the evolution of MNSPs in low-Cu RPV steels. The model is based on CALPHAD thermodynamics and radiation enhanced diffusion kinetics. The thermodynamics dictates the compositional and temperature dependence of the free energy reductions that drive precipitation. The model treats both homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation, where the latter occurs on cascade damage, like dislocation loops. The model has only four adjustable parameters that were fit to an atom probe tomography (APT) database. The model predictions are in semi-quantitative agreement with systematic Mn, Ni and Si composition variations in alloys characterized by APT, including a sensitivity to local tip-to-tip variations even in the same steel. The model predicts that heterogeneous nucleation plays a critical role in MNSP formation in lower alloy Ni contents. Single variable assessments of compositional effects show that Ni plays a dominant role, while even small variations in irradiation temperature can have a large effect on the MNSP evolution. Within typical RPV steel ranges, Mn and Si have smaller effects. Furthermore, the delayedmore » but then rapid growth of MNSPs to large volume fractions at high fluence is well predicted by the model. For purposes of illustration, the effect of MNSPs on transition temperature shifts are presented based on well-established microstructure-property and property-property models.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. Elysium Industries, Boston, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Acta Materialia
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 138; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1359-6454
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Precipitation kinetics; Modeling; Mean-field analysis; Reactor pressure vessel steels; Irradiation effect
OSTI Identifier: