Radiation tolerant nanotwinned metals

Feb 01, 2013

Texas A&M University mechanical engineering researchers led by Dr. Xinghang Zhang have discovered ratiation-tolerant nanotwinned metals that could provide an important step forward for the design of materials for the next generation of nuclear reactors.

The paper, "Removal of stacking-fault tetrahedra by twin boundaries in nanotwinned metals," was published Jan. 22 in Nature Communications.

In nuclear reactors, Zhang said, radiation damage in metallic can lead to serious degradation of mechanical properties. Stacking-fault tetrahedron (SFT) is a primary type of defect in irradiated face-centered cubic metals with low stacking fault energy, including copper, silver, gold and stainless steels. The removal of SFT is very challenging and typically requires annealing at very high temperatures, incorporation of interstitials or interaction with mobile dislocations.

During their in situ radiation experiments at Argonne National Laboratory, Zhang's graduate students Kaiyuan Yu and Cheng Sun discovered an alternative route to remove SFTs in nanotwinned silver. A large number of SFTs were removed or truncated during their frequent interactions with abundant coherent twin boundaries, and thus the density of SFTs in nanotwinned film decreased sharply compared to its bulk counterpart.

This study provides an important step forward for the design of advanced swelling-resistant structural materials for next generation nuclear reactors.

Explore further: Researcher develops novel wastewater treatment fabric

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Materials science: Perfecting the defect

May 03, 2012

Strong metals have a tendency to be less ductile — unless the metal happens to be a peculiar form of copper known as nanotwinned copper. The crystal structure of nanotwinned copper exhibits many closely-spaced ...

Scientists discover new principle in material science

Apr 07, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Materials scientists have known that a metal's strength (or weakness) is governed by dislocation interactions, a messy exchange of intersecting fault lines that move or ripple within metallic ...

Model simulates atomic processes in nanomaterials

Mar 01, 2007

Researchers from MIT, Georgia Institute of Technology and Ohio State University have developed a new computer modeling approach to study how materials behave under stress at the atomic level, offering insights that could ...

Recommended for you

A greener source of polyester—cork trees

Apr 16, 2014

On the scale of earth-friendly materials, you'd be hard pressed to find two that are farther apart than polyester (not at all) and cork (very). In an unexpected twist, however, scientists are figuring out ...

A beautiful, peculiar molecule

Apr 16, 2014

"Carbon is peculiar," said Nobel laureate Sir Harold Kroto. "More peculiar than you think." He was speaking to a standing-room-only audience that filled the Raytheon Amphitheater on Monday afternoon for the ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...