Ultrasonic cavitation erosion of 316L steel weld joint in liquid Pb-Bi eutectic alloy at 550°C

Research paper by Yucheng Lei, Hongxia Chang, Xiaokai Guo, Tianqing Li, Longren Xiao

Indexed on: 29 Mar '17Published on: 22 Mar '17Published in: Ultrasonics Sonochemistry


Liquid lead-bismuth eutectic alloy (LBE) is applied in the Accelerator Driven transmutation System (ADS) as the high-power spallation neutron targets and coolant. A 19.2 kHz ultrasonic device was deployed in liquid LBE at 550°C to induce short and long period cavitation erosion damage on the surface of weld joint, SEM and Atomic force microscopy(AFM) were used to map out the surface properties, and Energy Dispersive Spectrometer(EDS) was applied to the qualitative and quantitative analysis of elements in the micro region of the surface. The erosion mechanism for how the cavitation erosion evolved by studying the element changes, their morphology evolution, the surface hardness and the roughness evolution, was proposed. The results showed that the pits, caters and cracks appeared gradually on the erode surface after a period of cavitation. The surface roughness increased along with exposure time. Work hardening by the bubbles impact in the incubation stage strengthened the cavitation resistance efficiently. The dissolution and oxidation corrosion and cavitation erosion that simultaneously happened in liquid LBE accelerated corrosion-erosion process, and these two processes combined to cause more serious damage on the material surface. Contrast to the performance of weld metal, base metal exhibited a much better cavitation resistance.

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