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New material for thermonuclear fusion reactors
Date:1/9/2012

l for use in these reactors, but it is still not known if some of them will be viable under such hostile conditions. Along these lines, one of the most important candidates is oxide dispersion-strengthened, reduced-activation ferrite steel, called ODS steels.

The mechanic behavior of the ODS steels depends enormously on their microstructure, which until now has not been rigorously controlled. Until recently, studies on the microstructure of these steels have been on the micrometric scale. However, the nanometric scale is more relevant in understanding the phenomena that occur under irradiation. "We are now using our knowledge in nuclear structural materials and in advanced techniques of nanoanalysis to characterize diverse new generation ODS steels on the nanonmetric scale," noted the researchers, who have added nanometric particles to these steels (between 1 and 50 nm), which help to improve the mechanical properties and increase their resistance. The results of the research have been recently published in a special number of the journal Materials Science and Technology dedicated to the atomic scale characterization of steels.

The characterization of these materials is carried out using nanometric scale techniques. For example, with a transmission electron microscope, particles can be seen which are added to the material, even the smallest one of a nanometer (one millionth of millimeter). Because of this the following can be studied: if the distribution of the particles is optimum, its chemical composition, or if by changing it, better material is obtained or if interaction of these particles with the defects produced in the material is improved. "From there we extract the information that allows us to explain why material behaves in one way or another, because the fact that it has bad mechanical properties could be related to the particles not being well-distributed", ESTRUMAT's Professor de Castro, pointed out. The objective of thi
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Contact: Ana Herrera
oic@uc3m.es
Carlos III University of Madrid
Source:Eurekalert  

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