Recent advances in spherical nanoindentation protocols have proven very useful for capturing the grain-scale mechanical response of different metals. This is achieved by converting the load–displacement response into an effective indentation stress–strain response which reveals latent information such as the elastic–plastic transition or indentation yield strength and work-hardening behavior and subsequently correlating the response with the material structure (e.g., crystal orientation) at the indentation site. Using these protocols, we systematically study and quantify the microscale mechanical effects of He, W, and He + W ion irradiation on commercially pure, polycrystalline tungsten. The indentation stress–strain response is correlated with the crystal orientation from electron backscatter diffraction, the defect structure from transmission electron microscopy micrographs, and the stopping range of ions in matter calculations of displacement damage and He concentration. He-implanted grains show a much higher indentation yield strength and saturation stress compared to W-ion-irradiated grains for the same displacement damage. There is also good agreement between the dispersed barrier hardening model with a barrier strength of 0.5–0.8 and void models (Bacon–Kochs–Scattergood and Osetsky–Bacon models) with the experimentally observed changes in indentation strength due to the presence of He bubbles. This finding indicates that a high density (~ 9 × 1023 m−3) and concentration (~ 1.5 at.%) of small (~ 1 nm diameter) He bubbles can be moderate to strong barriers to dislocation slip in tungsten.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge funding from Department of Energy, Nuclear Engineering Enabling Technologies (DOE-NEET)—Reactor Materials program # DE-FOA-0000799, and University of California Office of the President (UCOP) Research Fund under Award Number 12-LR-237801 for this work. This work was performed, in part, at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action equal opportunity employer, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the US Department of Energy under contract DE-AC52-06NA25396. SP gratefully acknowledges funding from the Los Alamos National Laboratory Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship and University of Nevada, Reno start-up faculty funds for this work.
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.