- JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS Journal
- November 2014
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- This study evaluates the mechanical behaviour of an Y2O3-dispersed tungsten (W) alloy and compares it to a pure W reference material. Both materials were processed via mechanical alloying (MA) and subsequent hot isostatic pressing (HIP). We performed non-standard three-point bending (TPB) tests in both an oxidising atmosphere and vacuum across a temperature range from 77 K, obtained via immersion in liquid nitrogen, to 1473 K to determine the mechanical strength, yield strength and fracture toughness. This research aims to evaluate how the mechanical behaviour of the alloy is affected by oxides formed within the material at high temperatures, primarily from 873 K, when the materials undergo a massive thermal degradation. The results indicate that the alloy is brittle to a high temperature (1473 K) under both atmospheres and that the mechanical properties degrade significantly above 873 K. We also used Vickers microhardness tests and the dynamic modulus by impulse excitation technique (IET) to determine the elastic modulus at room temperature. Moreover, we performed nanoindentation tests to determine the effect of size on the hardness and elastic modulus; however, no significant differences were found. Additionally, we calculated the relative density of the samples to assess the porosity of the alloy. Finally, we analysed the microstructure and fracture surfaces of the tested materials via field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In this way, the relationship between the macroscopic mechanical properties and micromechanisms of failure could be determined based on the temperature and oxides formed.