Irradiation-induced solute trapping by preexisting nanoprecipitates in high-strength low-alloy steel

Yang Zhang, Liyuan Liu, Jihong Han, Jijun Yang, Junhua Luan, Zengbao Jiao, Chain Tsuan Liu, Zhongwu Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In the present study, a nanoprecipitate-strengthened high-strength low-alloy steel was irradiated by high-energy Au2+ ions with a peak dose of ∼70 displacements per atom (dpa) at room temperature. The formation of nanoprecipitates, dislocation loops, elemental segregation and mechanical properties before and after irradiation were carefully characterized using atom probe tomography (APT), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and nanoindentation. The mechanism of precipitation and coarsening of these nanoprecipitates and the effect of the dose on irradiation-induced solute capture were studied. The results show that, different from a simple aging-induced precipitation of Cu-rich nanoprecipitates, coprecipitation of Cu/Ni nanoprecipitates occurred under irradiation. With increasing dose, the nanoprecipitates coarsened. Although irradiation induced the formation of small dislocation loops together with new nanoprecipitates, the abnormal softening that occurred after irradiation can be attributed to the coarsening of the preexisting nanoprecipitates. These studies and discoveries are expected to provide unique and important information for the design of new structural alloys with enhanced radiation resistances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143510
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • High-dose ion irradiation
  • High-strength low-alloy steel
  • Irradiation softening
  • Preexisting nanoprecipitates
  • Radiation-induced precipitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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