Google Play icon

Tungsten-Based Alloy Shows Outstanding Radiation Resistance

Share
Posted March 13, 2019

The material is a quaternary nanocrystalline tungsten-tantalum-vanadium-chromium alloy that has been characterized under extreme thermal conditions.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers are part of a team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory that developed a new tungsten-based alloy that can withstand unprecedented amounts of radiation without damage. Essential for extreme irradiation environments such as the interiors of magnetic fusion reactors, previously explored materials have thus far been hobbled by weakness against fracture, but this new alloy seems to defeat that problem.

“This material showed outstanding radiation resistance when compared to pure nanocrystalline tungsten materials and other conventional alloys,” said Osman El Atwani, the lead author of the paper and the principal investigator of the “Radiation Effects and Plasma-Material Interactions in Tungsten Based Materials” project at Los Alamos. “Our investigations of the material mechanical properties under different stress states and response of the material under plasma exposure are ongoing.”

Atom Probe Tomography reveals nanoscale compositional layering in the single phase high entropy alloy which contribute to their high radiation tolerance. Photo Credit – PNNL

“It seems that we have developed a material with unprecedented radiation resistance,” said principal investigator Enrique Martinez Saez, a co-author of the paper at Los Alamos. “We have never seen before a material that can withstand the level of radiation damage that we have observed for this high-entropy [four or more principal elements] alloy. It seems to retain outstanding mechanical properties after irradiation, as opposed to traditional counterparts, in which the mechanical properties degrade easily under irradiation.”

Arun Devaraj, a materials scientist and project collaborator at Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, noted, “Atom probe tomography revealed an interesting atomic level layering of different elements in these alloys, which then changed to nanoclusters when subjected to radiation, helping us to understand better why this unique alloy is highly radiation tolerant.” The atom probe tomography work was conducted at EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at PNNL.

The material, created as a thin film, is a quaternary nanocrystalline tungsten-tantalum-vanadium-chromium alloy that has been characterized under extreme thermal conditions and after irradiation.

“We haven’t yet tested it in high-corrosion environments,” Martinez Saez said, “but I anticipate it should perform well there also. And if it is ductile, as expected, it could also be used as turbine material since it is a refractory, high-melting-point material.”

Source: PNNL

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
84,754 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. Real Artificial Gravity for SpaceX Starship (September 17, 2019)
  2. Top NASA Manager Says the 2024 Moon Landing by Astronauts might not Happen (September 19, 2019)
  3. How social media altered the good parenting ideal (September 4, 2019)
  4. What's the difference between offensive and defensive hand grenades? (September 26, 2019)
  5. Just How Feasible is a Warp Drive? (September 25, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email