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Extensive Nanoprecipitate Morphology Transformation in a Nanostructured Ferritic Alloy due to Extreme Thermomechanical Proces...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Acta Materialia
Publication Date
Page Numbers
922 to 931

Nano-oxide precipitates in a modern nanostructured ferritic alloy were investigated after extreme thermomechanical processing into a thin-walled tube geometry. It was found that the morphology of the precipitates changed from spherical to rod-shaped, with some increasing to aspect ratios of up to 9, despite the precipitate volume fraction (0.3%) and number density (> 1023 m−3) of precipitates remaining unchanged. High-resolution electron microscopy showed that the precipitates likely remained coherent with the Fe-matrix, while atom probe tomography confirmed that the precipitate compositions remained unaffected by the transformation. The morphological change was attributed to the shearable nature of the (Y,Ti,O)-rich precipitates, indicating they should be considered as “soft” obstacles to dislocation motion. The elongation was most pronounced in larger (>5 nm) precipitates, which may be caused by preferential dissolution of the smallest (1–3 nm) precipitates followed by the competition between re-precipitation and solute diffusion to larger precipitates during recovery heat treatments.