Tailoring the Ti-C nanoprecipitate population and microstructure of titanium stabilized austenitic steels

    Research outputpeer-review


    The present work reports on the microstructural evolution of a new heat of 24% cold worked austenitic DIN 1.4970 (15-15Ti) nuclear cladding steel subjected to ageing heat treatments of varying duration between 500 and 800 C (by steps of 100 C). The primary aim was studying the finely dispersed Ti-C nanoprecipitate population, which are thought to be beneficial for creep and swelling resistance during service. Their size distribution and number density were estimated through dark field imaging and bright field Moire imaging techniques in the transmission electron microscope. Nanoprecipitates formed at and above 600 C, which is a lower temperature than previously reported. The observed nucleation, growth and coarsening behavior of the nanoprecipitates were consistent with simple diffusion arguments. The formation of nanoprecipitates coincided with significant dissociation of dislocations as evidenced by weak beam dark field imaging. Possible mechanisms, including Silcock's stacking fault growth model and Suzuki segregation, are discussed. Recrystallization observed after extended ageing at 800 C caused the redissolution of nanoprecipitates. Large primary Ti(C,N) and (Ti,Mo)C precipitates that occur in the as-received material, and M23C6 precipitates that nucleate on grain boundaries at low temperatures were also characterized by a selective dissolution procedure involving filtration, X-ray diffraction and quantitative Rietveld refinement. The partitioning of key elements between the different phases was derived by combining these findings and was consistent with thermodynamic considerations and the processing history of the steel.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)177-187
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    StatePublished - 30 Apr 2018

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