2014 Volume 55 Issue 3 Pages 438-442
Addition of minor elements to a base alloy is often applied with the aim of mitigating void swelling by decreasing the vacancy diffusivity and flux which influence vacancy accumulation behavior. However, the comparative evaluations of parameters, such as the diffusivity and flux, between a base alloy and modified alloys with specific additives have not been studied in detail. In this study, type 316 austenitic stainless steel as a base alloy and type 316 austenitic stainless steels modified with vanadium (V) or zirconium (Zr) additions were used to perform evaluations from the changes of widths of the void denuded zone (VDZ) formed near a random grain boundary during electron irradiation because these widths depend on vacancy diffusivity and flux. The formations of VDZs were observed in in-situ observations during electron irradiation at 723 K and the formed VDZ widths were measured from the transmission electron microscopic images after electron irradiation. As a result, the VDZs were formed in both steels without and with V, and respective widths were ∼119 and ∼100 nm. On the other hand, the VDZ formation was not observed clearly in the steel with Zr. From the measured VDZ widths in the steels without and with V addition, the estimated ratio of the vacancy diffusivity in the steel with V to that in the steel without V was about 0.50 and the estimated ratio of the vacancy flux in the steel with V to that in the steel without V was about 0.71. This result suggests that the effect of additional minor elements on vacancy accumulation behaviors under electron irradiation could be estimated from evaluations of the VDZ width changes among steels with and without minor elements. Especially, because void swelling is closely related with the vacancy diffusion process, the VDZ width changes would also be reflected on void swelling behavior.