Effet des défauts d'implantation sur la corrosion des aciers inoxydables austénitiques en milieu primaire des réacteurs à eau pressurisée

Abstract : Internal parts of pressurized water reactor (PWR) vessels are often made of austenitic stainless steels (304L and 316L). These structural materials are exposed to an oxidizing medium under irradiation and mechanical stresses. Under these conditions, they can suffer damages by IASCC (Irradiation-Assisted Stress Corrosion Cracking). The first step in this cracking phenomenon is the initiation, which implies the breakdown of the passive layer. The nature and the structure of the oxide film formed on these steels are key factors in initiation of IASCC cracks. In this context, the objective of this work is first to better understand the oxidation mechanisms of stainless steels in primary medium and second to study the effects of irradiation induced defects on the oxide film formed on stainless steels in primary medium. Xenon ions and protons, were implanted in 316L-type austenitic stainless steel samples, respectively at an energy of 240 and 230 keV in order to simulate the irradiation defects. Implanted and non-implanted samples were exposed in a corrosion loop at 325°C to an aqueous medium containing 1000 ppm of boron, 2 ppm of lithium and 1,19.10-3 mol.L-1 of dissolved hydrogen. The samples were analyzed by TEM before and after exposure to primary medium in order to characterize both the defects generated by the implantation and the nature, structure, and morphology of the formed oxide. Comparing implanted and non-implanted samples has shown that the nature and the density of defects in the alloy subsurface played an important role on the composition (mainly on the content of Cr and Mo) and on the thickness of the inner layer. The study of the oxidation kinetics by coupling two ion beam analysis techniques (NRA and RBS) has revealed different behavior between the two types of samples: non-implanted and implanted. Tracer experiments (using D and 18O) were conducted to study the growth mechanism of the inner oxide layer and the associated transport mechanisms. The study of the oxygen and hydrogen transport through the inner layer and the underlying alloy, by SIMS and GD-OES, has resulted in writing a corrosion mechanism for austenitic stainless steels exposed to primary medium and linking this mechanism to hydrogen absorption in the alloy. Furthermore, the impact of implantation defects on these transport phenomena has been studied, highlighting the role of defects on oxide layer properties generating modification of the oxygen transport in the oxide scale. These results have helped to shed some light on the mechanism and kinetics involved in the formation of the oxide layer and on the hydrogen absorption in austenitic stainless steels exposed to primary medium and to point out the effect of implantation defects on the oxidation processes.
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Marie Dumerval. Effet des défauts d'implantation sur la corrosion des aciers inoxydables austénitiques en milieu primaire des réacteurs à eau pressurisée. Matériaux. Université de Grenoble, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014GRENI046⟩. ⟨tel-01143034⟩

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