|About this Abstract
||2023 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition
||Late News Poster Session
||O-28: The Response of Silicon Carbide Composites to He Ion Implantation and Ramifications for Use as a Fusion Reactor Structural Material
||Max Rigby-Bell, Alex Leide, Slava Kuksenko, Chris Smith, Gyula Zilahi, Louise Gale, Tony Razzell, James Wade-Zhu, David Bowden
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
Silicon carbide fibre–reinforced silicon carbide matrix (SiCf/SiC) composites are desirable in nuclear applications due to their low density, high temperature strength, and tolerance to energetic radiation. We have assessed the tolerance of three industry-grades of composite to high energy He²⁺ irradiation, up to 10,000 appm implanted He at 700 °C, to determine their suitability for blanket structural applications in fusion.
All grades display evidence of crystallographic evolution following irradiation, in the form of phase localised stress, intragranular strain, and lattice swelling. This is attributed to a combination of vacancy production and subsequent He bubble formation. Despite this, no major degradation or microcracking of the composite was observed.
During post-irradiation in-situ TEM annealing up to 1300 °C, the fibres of the SiCf/SiC composites remain stable without detectable bubbles. Meanwhile, He bubbles in the fibre coating and matrix grains grow, resulting in further crystallographic swelling, with Si phase grains degrading significantly.
||Composites, Nuclear Materials, Characterization