electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)
Yttrium oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) and non-ODS EUROFER produced by mechanical alloying and hot isostatic pressing have been subjected to isochronal annealing up to 1523 K, and the evolution of the open-volume defects and their thermal stability have been investigated using positron lifetime and coincidence Doppler broadening (CDB) techniques. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations have also been performed on the studied samples to verify the characteristics of the surviving defects after annealing at 1523 K. The CDB spectra of ODS EUROFER exhibit a characteristic signature that is attributed to positron annihilation in Ar-decorated cavities at the oxide particle/matrix interfaces. The variation of the positron annihilation parameters with the annealing temperature shows three stages: up to 623 K, between 823 and 1323 K, and above 1323 K. Three-dimensional vacancy clusters, or voids, are detected in either materials in as-HIPed condition and after annealing at T 623 K. In the temperature range 823&-1323 K, these voids' growth and nucleation and the growth of other new species of voids take place. Above 1323 K, some unstable cavities start to anneal out, and cavities associated to oxide particles and other small precipitates survive to annealing at 1523 K. The TEM observations and the positron annihilation results indicate that these cavities should be decorated with Ar atoms absorbed during the mechanical alloying process.