While austenitic stainless steels (ASSs) have been widely adopted for reactor vessel internals because of their excellent material properties, diverse ageing-related degradation may occur due to high temperature, corrosive and neutron radiation environments during operation. In particular, since the change of mechanical properties is a major concern in long-term operation but it is difficult to prepare and handle standard specimens influenced by neutrons, most of experimental researches for enhanced understanding of the radiation effects have been focused on high-energetic ion-irradiation and tests of small specimens.

In this study, systematic finite element analyses were carried out to quantify changing mechanical properties based on both virgin and ion-irradiated nanoindentation test data of typical ASS material. First of all, numerical analysis was carried out to obtain unirradiated material constitutive parameters by using trial set along the miniature specimen and comparing test data, and then indentation stress-strain (ISS) curve was derived. Subsequently, ISS was converted into uniaxial stress-strain response taking into account simple correlation. Finally, with regard to the irradiated material, similar analytical procedures were established. 304 SS was irradiated with 2 MeV proton and radioactivity is being measured. Comparison between analysis result and experimental one will be carried out, of which details and key findings will be discussed.

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