Alloy 617, a high temperature creep-resistant, nickel-based alloy, is being considered for the primary heat exchanger for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) which will operate at temperatures exceeding 760oC. Orientation imaging microscopy (OIM) is used to characterize the grain boundaries in the vicinity of creep voids that develop during high temperature creep tests (800-1000oC at creep stresses ranging from 20-85 MPa) terminated at creep strains ranging from 5-40%. Observations using optical microscopy indicate creep rate does not significantly influence the creep void fraction at a given creep strain. Preliminary analysis of the OIM data indicates voids tend to form on grain boundaries parallel, perpendicular or 45o to the tensile axis, while few voids are found at intermediate inclinations to the tensile axis. Random grain boundaries intersect most voids while CSL-related grain boundaries did not appear to be consistently associated with void development.
Lillo, Thomas; Cole, James; Frary, Megan; and Schlegel, Scott. (2009). "Influence of Grain Boundary Character on Creep Void Formation in Alloy 617". Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 40(12), 2803-2811. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msea.2006.12.206