Journal of Nuclear Materials, 421(1-3):140-146, 2, 2012. Paper Website abstract bibtex
Fast reactors and spallation neutron sources may use lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) as a coolant. Its physical, chemical, and irradiation properties make it a safe coolant compared to Na cooled designs. However, LBE is a corrosive medium for most steels and container materials. The present study was performed to evaluate the corrosion behavior of the austenitic steel 316L (in two different delivery states). Detailed atomic force microscopy, magnetic force microscopy, conductive atomic force microscopy and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy analyses have been performed on the oxide layers to get a better understanding of the corrosion and oxidation mechanisms of austenitic and ferritic/martensitic stainless steel in LBE. The oxide scale formed on the annealed 316L material consisted of multiple layers with different compositions, structures, and properties. The innermost oxide layer maintained the grain structure of what used to be the bulk steel material and shows 2 phases, while the outermost oxide layer possessed a columnar grain structure.