Publication: Nanoindentation and TEM to Study the Cavity Fate after Post-Irradiation Annealing of He Implanted EUROFER97 and EU-ODS EUROFER
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The effect of post-helium irradiation annealing on bubbles and nanoindentation hardness of two reduced activation ferritic martensitic steels for nuclear fusion applications (EUROFER97 and EU-ODS EUROFER) has been studied. Helium-irradiated EUROFER97 and EU-ODS EUROFER were annealed at 450 °C for 100 h in an argon atmosphere. The samples were tested by nanoindentation and studied by transmission electron microscopy extracting some focused ion beam lamellae containing the whole implanted zone (≈50 µm). A substantial increment in nanoindentation hardness was measured in the area with higher helium content, which was larger in the case of EUROFER97 than in EU-ODS EUROFER. In terms of microstructure defects, while EU-ODS EUROFER showed larger helium bubbles, EUROFER97 experienced the formation of a great population density of them, which means that the mechanism that condition the evolution of cavities for these two materials are different and completely dependent on the microstructure.