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Article

Through-Thickness Microstructure Characterization in a Centrifugally Cast Austenitic Stainless Steel Nuclear Reactor Primary Loop Pipe Using Time-of-Flight Neutron Diffraction

1
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
2
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801, USA
3
Nuclear & Radiological Engineering, Electric Power Research Institute, Charlotte, NC 28262, USA
4
GWW School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Makoto Hayashi
Quantum Beam Sci. 2021, 5(2), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/qubs5020012
Received: 26 March 2021 / Revised: 25 April 2021 / Accepted: 29 April 2021 / Published: 7 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Strain, Stress and Texture with Quantum Beams)
The US code of Federal Regulations mandates regular inspection of centrifugally cast austenitic stainless steel pipe, commonly used in primary cooling loops in light-water nuclear power plants. These pipes typically have a wall thickness of ~8 cm. Unfortunately, inspection using conventional ultrasonic techniques is not reliable as the microstructure strongly attenuates ultrasonic waves. Work is ongoing to simulate the behavior of acoustic waves in this microstructure and ultimately develop an acoustic inspection method for reactor inspections. In order to account for elastic anisotropy in the material, the texture in the steel was measured as a function of radial distance though the pipe wall. Experiments were conducted on two 10 × 12.7 × 80 mm radial sections of a cast pipe using neutron diffraction scans of 2 mm slices using the HIPPO time-of-flight neutron diffractometer at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE, Los Alamos, NM, USA). Strong textures dominated by a small number of austenite grains with their (100) direction aligned in the radial direction of the pipe were observed. ODF analysis indicated that up to 70% of the probed volume was occupied by just three single-grain orientations, consistent with grain sizes of almost 1 cm. Texture and phase fraction of both ferrite and austenite phases were measured along the length of the samples. These results will inform the development of a more robust diagnostic tool for regular inspection of this material. View Full-Text
Keywords: cast austenitic stainless steel; non-destructive evaluation; texture cast austenitic stainless steel; non-destructive evaluation; texture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schmitt, M.M.; Savage, D.J.; Wall, J.J.; Yeager, J.D.; Lee, C.; Vogel, S.C. Through-Thickness Microstructure Characterization in a Centrifugally Cast Austenitic Stainless Steel Nuclear Reactor Primary Loop Pipe Using Time-of-Flight Neutron Diffraction. Quantum Beam Sci. 2021, 5, 12. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/qubs5020012

AMA Style

Schmitt MM, Savage DJ, Wall JJ, Yeager JD, Lee C, Vogel SC. Through-Thickness Microstructure Characterization in a Centrifugally Cast Austenitic Stainless Steel Nuclear Reactor Primary Loop Pipe Using Time-of-Flight Neutron Diffraction. Quantum Beam Science. 2021; 5(2):12. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/qubs5020012

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schmitt, Matthew M., Daniel J. Savage, James J. Wall, John D. Yeager, Chanho Lee, and Sven C. Vogel 2021. "Through-Thickness Microstructure Characterization in a Centrifugally Cast Austenitic Stainless Steel Nuclear Reactor Primary Loop Pipe Using Time-of-Flight Neutron Diffraction" Quantum Beam Science 5, no. 2: 12. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/qubs5020012

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