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Microstructure dependent burst behavior of oxide dispersion–strengthened FeCrAl cladding

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Materials & Design
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Oxide dispersion–strengthened (ODS) FeCrAl alloys are an advanced cladding material that combines the high-temperature steam oxidation resistance of conventional wrought FeCrAl with the irradiation resistance and high-temperature strength of nanostructured ferritic alloys. In the present study, the effect of microstructure on the performance of the ODS FeCrAl alloy system in light-water reactor–accident scenarios is evaluated using a combination of experimentation and modeling. ODS FeCrAl alloy with nominal composition Fe-12Cr-6Al-0.3Zr-0.3Y2O3 was produced into a thin-walled tube via high-precision tube rolling. A portion of the as-received (AR) tube was subjected to a full recrystallization heat treatment. Both variants were subjected to burst testing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Severe Accident Test Station. The recrystallized tube exhibited burst temperature margins 200 °C higher than that of C26M, whereas the AR tube only achieved burst properties comparable to the wrought FeCrAl alloy. The burst experiments were simulated in the BISON finite element code through the development of new viscoplastic material databases for each heat treatment condition, informed by high temperature tensile tests of tube specimens and existing literature data on creep mechanisms. Finally, an ODS FeCrAl burst criterion was obtained using simulated burst experiments across the entire range of test conditions.