Recent in-reactor tensile tests (IRTs) on pure copper have revealed a deformation behaviour which is significantly different from that observed in post-irradiation tensile tests (PITs). In IRTs, the material deforms uniformly and homogeneously without yield drop and plastic instability as commonly observed in PITs. An increase in the pre-yield dose results in an increase in the level of hardening over the whole test periods and a decrease in the uniform elongation suggesting that the materials “remember” the impact of the pre-yield damage level. These features are modelled in terms of the decoration of dislocations with glissile dislocation loops. During pre-yield irradiation, dislocation decoration is due to the one-dimensional (1D) diffusion of cascade induced self-interstitial (SIA) clusters and their trapping in the stress field of the static grown-in dislocations. During post-yield irradiation and deformation, moving dislocations are decorated by the sweeping of matrix loops. The interaction of dislocations with loops and between loops is discussed as a function of the relevant parameters. On this basis, the kinetics of decoration is treated in terms of fluxes of loops to and reactions with each other in a conceived 2D space of decoration. In this space, loop coalescence, alignment and mutual blocking reactions are characterised by appropriate reaction cross sections. In the kinetic equations for “dynamic decoration” under deformation, the evolution of the dislocation density is taken into account. Simple solutions of the kinetic equations are discussed. The apparent memory of the system for the pre-yield dose is identified as the result of simultaneous and closely parallel transient evolutions of the cascade damage and the dislocations up to the end of the IRTs. The contributions of dislocation decoration to yield and flow stresses are attributed to the interaction of dislocations with aligned loops temporarily or permanently immobilized by other loops or SFTs (“decoration enhanced obstacle hardening”). On this basis, the yield and flow stresses are discussed as a function of pre-yield dose, post-yield dose and strain. Assuming physically reasonable values for the parameters involved we are able to reproduce the general trends and the right orders of magnitude of the yield and flow stresses measured in the IRTs on Cu.
|Series||Denmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-R|