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Dual Role of Boron in the Elevated Temperature Embrittlement of Irradiated Complex Heat-resistant Alloys


IN a recent communication, Roberts and Harries1 discuss some investigations which were made on elevated temperature embrittlement induced in 20 per cent chromium : 25 per cent nickel : niobium-stabilized austenitic steel by irradiation with thermal neutrons. Similar observations2,3 were noted by us in the case of precipitation hardening and also solution strengthened alloys, which were either irradiated at pile ambient or at elevated temperatures and afterwards post-irradiation tested at elevated temperatures in conventional creeprupture testing equipment. The high-temperature brittleness was further observed4 for irradiation conditions in which the fast neutron and thermal neutron dosages were as low as 8 × 1014 nvt and 4 × 1015 nvt, respectively. This thermal neutron dose, for example, is about a factor of 1.9 × 103 lower than those reported by Roberts and Harries.

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  1. Roberts, A. C., and Harries, D. R., Nature, 200, 772 (1963).

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  2. Robertshaw, F. C., Moteff, J., Kingsbury, F. D., and Pugacz, M. A., A.S.T.M. Spec. Tech. Pub. No. 341, 372 (1963).

  3. Robertshaw, F. C., and Collins, C. G., A.S.M. Trans. Quarterly, 55, No. 3 (1962).

  4. Moteff, J., Kingsbury, F. D., Robertshaw, F. C. (to be presented at A.I.A.A. Ann. Meeting, 1964).

  5. Decker, R. F., and Freeman, J. W., Trans. A.I.M.E., 218, 277 (1960).

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MOTEFF, J., KINGSBURY, F. & LOVELL, A. Dual Role of Boron in the Elevated Temperature Embrittlement of Irradiated Complex Heat-resistant Alloys. Nature 202, 997–998 (1964).

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