The paper reviews information pertaining to effects of neutron irradiation on "upper-shelf" Charpy impact behaviour and on elastic/plastic fracture mechanics characterising parameters, again for "upper shelf" conditions, in which the initiation and early growth of a crack involve ductile tearing. The hardening and associated reduction in strain-hardening capacity induced by irradiation gives rise to a decrease in Charpy upper shelf energy. Effects on J-based parameters are more complicated. The material resistance parameters tend to increase for low dose, but decrease at high dose, when the decrease in crack-tip ductility outweighs the effect of hardening. High doses can produce "fast shear" fracture, which propagates rapidly and is therefore more likely to induce brittle cleavage fracture. The situation is exacerbated if the irradiation also promotes inter-granular segregation and fracture, hence reducing the local brittle fracture stress. For the levels of irradiation experienced by the types of UK civil reactors in operation, no fracture instability is expected to arise as a result of ductile fracture mechanisms alone. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2009|
- Ferritic steels
- Ductile fracture