Vol.6 No.3 (May 2016)
Study on Thermal Aging Behavior of 304 Stainless Steel Weld for Nuclear Internals
The stainless steel welds used for PWR internals after a long service faces thermal aging embrit-tlement. In this study, the accelerated thermal aging experiments of nuclear internals 304 stainless steel weld were performed at 325˚C, 365˚C and 400˚C for 15,000 h. Microstructure evolution of weld after aging was observed by TEM and HRTEM. Changes of the Charpy impact energy and na-nohardness were studied by Charpy impact and nano-indenter test. The results indicated that Spinodal decomposition and G-phase precipitation in the ferrite was observed after aging. The impact toughness of weld decreased with the increase of aging temperature, and cleavage feature was observed after aging. The nanohardness of ferrite increased, plastic deformation ability of ferrite phase declined, and the nanohardness of austenite hardness had no change. Taking the nanohardness as the standard of thermal aging embrittlement, the thermal aging activation energy was determined for 304 weld in the temperature range 325˚C - 400˚C based on Arrhenius rela-tionship.
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