Multi-principal element alloys (MPEAs) are of interest to the nuclear community for their observed resistance to microstructural damage under irradiation. Robust experimentation to relate MPEA composition to irradiation resistance and corrosion performance – critical properties in nuclear environments – is lacking, and these properties are poorly understood together. To accelerate experimental study of MPEA irradiation and oxidation, high-throughput synthesis, irradiation, corrosion, and characterization techniques have been employed in this work. To do so, an Optomec LENS-MR7 in-situ alloying system has produced plates of 25 unique CrFeMnNi alloys samples to be polished and irradiated at the UW-Madison’s Ion Beam Lab.
Characterization of the plates with x-ray diffraction, coupled scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive electron spectroscopy are used for characterizing each alloy prior to irradiation. During irradiation, a mask has been placed on each sample so that post-irradiation, nanoindentation and profilometry can be used to characterize the effect of irradiation on hardening and void swelling for each alloy directly thanks to the mask’s sharp interface. Further characterization of the void swelling for each alloy is performed by milling trenches in each sample via focused ion beam milling.
Future studies of corrosion and coupled corrosion-irradiation will begin with high-throughput oxidation of each sample, followed by individual aqueous testing of alloys of interest.