Fragilisation des aciers inoxydables austénitiques sous irradiation : évolution de la microstructure et amorçage de la corrosion sous contrainte assistée par l'irradiation en milieu REP

Abstract : This work deals with the microstructure evolution of austenitic stainless steels under irradiation and the consequences of this evolution on their behavior in PWR environment. 304L steel was proton-irradiated at 360°C to 5 and 10 dpa. Following these irradiations, IASCC was studied in a 350°C simulated primary water, with strain fields measurements using digital image correlation. In parallel, thin foils were irradiated in situ with Ni++ ions at 500°C up to 2 dpa with simultaneous helium implantation. These experiments allowed us (i) to have a better understanding of the key parameters responsible of the IASCC initiation in reducing environment thanks to the coupling between microstructure, mechanical fields and cracking (ii) to define the role of helium on the nucleation and evolution of radiation defects. It turns out that, in the studied conditions, the implantation of helium has only a limited effect on the dislocation loop and cavity populations for ratios lower than 800 appm He/dpa. Cavities were observed with and without helium, including in the grain boundaries which could be a factor of embrittlement. The stress corrosion cracking tests resulted in an increase of the crack density with the increase of the macroscopic deformation and in a bigger opening and on-surface propagation of cracks after a sequential loading. These cracks propagate deeply in the irradiated layer partly because of the overstress generated by the strong gradient of mechanical properties between the irradiated and non-irradiated zones of the material. The activated deformation mechanisms are complex and twinning was observed after 2 and 10% of macroscopic deformation. The deformation after irradiation is strongly localized in transgranular bands and around some grain boundaries, but it appears that the strong deformation around boundaries is not an initiation criterion. Deformation discontinuity on both sides of cracked boundaries is systematically observed and evaluation of the local stress state appears to be essential to describe IASCC initiation. This local stress state could be calculated by finite elements, taking into account the experimental results in terms of crystallographic orientation fields or Kinematics fields strong heterogeneity of local deformation quantified in this work.
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Morgane Le Millier. Fragilisation des aciers inoxydables austénitiques sous irradiation : évolution de la microstructure et amorçage de la corrosion sous contrainte assistée par l'irradiation en milieu REP. Science des matériaux [cond-mat.mtrl-sci]. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014ENMP0047⟩. ⟨tel-01142188⟩

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