G. Pintsuk, Z. Oksiuta, J. Linke , N. Baluc
The thermal performance of Fe–(12–14)Cr–2W–0.3Ti–0.3Y2O3 ODS reduced activation ferritic steels,
which are considered as candidate first wall materials for the future fusion power reactors and were manufactured by mechanical alloying in hydrogen and hot isostatic pressing, was assessed by high heat flux (HHF) testing with the electron beam JUDITH facility at the Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), Germany. An analysis of the microhardness and microstructure of the specimens was done before and after HHF tests. In general, both materials present a ferritic (a-Fe, bcc) microstructure with a wide range of grain sizes from 100 to 500 nm up to a few micrometers. The coarse grains are almost dislocation-free, while the smaller ones are surrounded by tangles of dislocations. Oxide and carbide impurities (about a few hundreds nm in size) and a high density of Y–Ti–O nano-clusters, with a mean size of about 5 nm, are also present. The microhardness, density and tensile strength of the 14Cr material are slightly larger than those of the 12Cr material. HHF tests revealed that there is no difference in thermal performance, level of degradation and erosion behaviour of 12Cr and 14Cr ODS steels. The onset of melting of the materials occurs for an energy density between 1 and 1.5 MJ/m2. Below this value only some kind of thermal etching takes place. This is a significant improvement compared to stainless steel, for which severe plastic deformation at the material surface was observed.