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ASTM Selected Technical Papers
The Use of Small-Scale Specimens for Testing Irradiated Material
By
WR Corwin
WR Corwin
1
Metallurgical Engineer
, Metals and Ceramics Division,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
,
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
;
symposium chairman and editor
Search for other works by this author on:
GE Lucas
GE Lucas
2
Associate Professor
, Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering,
University of California
,
Santa Barbara, California
;
symposium chairman and editor
Search for other works by this author on:
ISBN-10:
0-8031-0440-5
ISBN:
978-0-8031-0440-2
No. of Pages:
390
Publisher:
ASTM International
Publication date:
1986

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) disks of pure copper and copper alloyed with 5 atom% of either aluminum, manganese, or nickel have been irradiated at 25°C with 14-MeV neutrons. Vickers microhardness measurements were obtained as a function of fluence up to a maximum level of 2.2 × 1021 n/m2. Measurements were made at two different values of indenter load (5 and 10 g) in order to facilitate correlations with high-load microhardness data. A simple antivibration test stand was designed which allowed reproducible microhardness results to be obtained independent of background vibrations down to indenter loads of 2 g. The radiation-induced microhardness change at both indenter loads scales linearly with the fourth root of neutron fluence following an incubation fluence. At a fluence of 2 × 1021 n/m2, the microhardness is increased by at least 50% over the unirradiated microhardness value for all four metals. The alloys, in particular Cu-5 Mn, exhibited a shorter incubation fluence and a larger radiation hardening than pure copper. Estimates of the defect cluster density obtained from 10 g microhardness data are in good agreement with TEM observations obtained on these alloys by other researchers. The measured irradiation-induced microhardness change is about 40% less at an indenter load of 5 g than at an indenter load of 10 g for a fluence of 2 × 1021 n/m2. This indicates that irradiation-induced changes in low-load microhardness are dependent on the indenter load; therefore any results which are obtained at low loads should be used with caution.

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