The Effects of Oxide Evolution on Mechanical Properties in Proton- and Neutron-Irradiated Fe-9%Cr ODS Steel

Document Type


Publication Date



The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of irradiation on the strengthening mechanisms of a model Fe-9%Cr oxide dispersion strengthened steel. The alloy was irradiated with protons or neutrons to a dose of 3 displacements per atoms at 500 °C. Nanoindentation was used to measure strengthening due to irradiation, with neutron irradiation causing a greater increase in yield strength than proton irradiation. The irradiated microstructures were characterized using transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography (APT). Cluster analysis reveals solute migration from the Y-Ti-O-rich nanoclusters to the surrounding matrix after both irradiations, though the effect is more pronounced in the neutron-irradiated specimen. Because the dissolved oxygen atoms occupy interstitial sites in the iron matrix, they contribute significantly to solid solution strengthening. The dispersed barrier hardening model relates microstructure evolution to the change in yield strength, but is only accurate if solid solution contributions to strengthening are considered simultaneously.