Letter | Published:

Irradiation Effects in Strain-aged Pressure Vessel Steel

Naturevolume 193pages468470 (1962) | Download Citation



BOTH neutron irradiation and normal ageing phenomena may separately cause deterioration in the properties of mild steels by increasing the brittle–ductile transition temperature. In the case of reactor pressure vessels, the effects of neutron irradiation alone may increase this transition temperature to values well above room temperature. For purposes of reactor design, as well as for estimating the permissible service-life of a reactor pressure vessel, it is therefore essential to have reliable data regarding this effect, and considerable effort has been, and is being, devoted to this end. So far as we are aware, published data for mild steels are limited to steels in the normalized condition. In the absence of irradiation, ordinary ageing phenomena occurring during the life-time of a pressure vessel may alone cause a significant ( 30 – 40° C.) increase in the brittle–ductile transition temperature, and the question arises whether the effects of neutron irradiation and ageing are additive or whether the increase due to irradiation can be considered to include any deleterious effects arising from ageing.

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  1. 1

    Grounes, M., Paper S6, E.A.E.S. Symposium on Reactor Materials, Saltöjobaden (1959).

  2. 2

    Grounes, M., Steels for Reactor Pressure Circuits (Iron and Steel Inst., London, 1961).

  3. 3

    Malmberg, G., Jernkontorets Annaler, 145, 183 (1961).

  4. 4

    Marinot, R., and Wallet, P. H., C.E.A. Report No. 1380 (1960).

  5. 5

    Robinson, M. T., et al., Nucl. Sci. Eng., 10, 61 (1961).

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  1. Aktiebolaget Atomenergi, Studsvik, Tystberga, Sweden

    • M. GROUNES
    •  & H. P. MYERS


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