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Toward Austenitic Oxide Dispersion Strengthened Alloys for Nuclear Applications

James Stubbins, Ph.D.

Donald Biggar Willett Professor

Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall
Spring 2018 Colloquium Series

There has been a continuing effort to develop enhanced versions of several types of engineering alloys by strengthening them with a very high number density of very small oxide particles. These particles, if evenly distributed, should provide major improvements in material strength especially at very high temperatures where most engineering metal alloys lose strength. Since the oxide particles are actually ceramics, they should have a very high melting point, much higher than metal alloys, and maintain their stability and strengthening capabilities even at very high temperatures. For nuclear applications where atomic displacement damage takes place, the particles also offer a very large amount of internal surface area which can potentially absorb irradiation-induced defects to reduce radiation damage effects.

This process of making metal alloys with dispersed oxide particles has been attempted in a wide variety of metal systems with some success. There has been a particularly heavy emphasis on developing ODS iron-chromium steels, but much less emphasis on stainless steels. This talk will discuss the possibilities for the development of ODS austenitic steels, which are widely used in current nuclear reactors and are slated for use in a variety of advanced nuclear fission and nuclear fusion reactor systems. The work discusses the microstructure and mechanical behavior of this class of new alloys for nuclear applications.

About the Speaker: 

Prof. Stubbins earned his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Michigan and his M.S. in Nuclear Engineering and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He held postdoctoral/visiting scientist positions at the Nuclear Research Center, Karlsruhe, Germany and at Oxford University and Harwell Labs in the United Kingdom, before joining General Electric as a Principle Investigator on the US High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Program. He then moved to the University of Illinois were he is now Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering and was formerly Head of the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering for the past 18 years. He also holds a Professor appointment in the Japanese World Premier Institute – International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research at Kyushu University, Japan. He is currently a visiting scientist at Los Alamos National Lab and has also held visiting scientist appointments at Argonne National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, and Pacific Northwest National Lab in the US and Risø National Lab, Denmark and the University of Pisa, Italy.