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Chapter 28
The Effects of Hydrogen, Tritium, and Heat Treatment on the Deformation and Fracture Toughness Properties of Stainless Steel

Excerpt

The deformation and fracture toughness properties of forged stainless steels pre-charged with tritium were compared to the deformation and fracture toughness properties of the same steels heat treated at 773 K or 873 K and pre-charged with hydrogen. Forged stainless steels pre-charged with tritium exhibit an aging effect: Fracture toughness values decrease with aging time after pre-charging because of the increase in concentration of helium from tritium decay. This study shows that forged stainless steels given a prior heat treatment and then pre-charged with hydrogen also exhibit an aging effect: Fracture toughness values decrease with increasing time at temperature. A microstructural analysis showed that the fracture toughness reduction in the heat-treated steels was due to patches of recrystallized grains that form within the forged matrix during the heat treatment. The combination of hydrogen and the patches of recrystallized grains resulted in more deformation twinning. Heavy deformation twinning on multiple slip planes was typical for the hydrogen-charged samples; whereas, in the non-charged samples, less twinning was observed and was generally limited to one slip plane. Similar effects occur in tritium pre-charged steels, but the deformation twinning is brought on by the hardening associated with decay helium bubbles in the microstructure.

  • Introduction
  • Experimental Procedure
  • Results
  • Conclusions
  • Acknowledgements
  • References

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