Texas A&M Univ. mechanical engineering researchers led by Xinghang Zhang have discovered radiation-tolerant nanotwinned metals that could provide an important step forward for the design of materials for the next generation of nuclear reactors.
In nuclear reactors, Zhang says, radiation damage in metallic materials can lead to serious degradation of mechanical properties. Stacking-fault tetrahedron (SFT) is a primary type of defect in irradiated face-centered cubic metals with low stacking fault energy, including copper, silver, gold and stainless steels. The removal of SFT is very challenging and typically requires annealing at very high temperatures, incorporation of interstitials or interaction with mobile dislocations.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/02/nanotwinned-metals-key-next-gen-nuclear-reactors