The influence of helium co-injection at rates from 0 to 4 appm He/dpa on swelling in ferritic-martensitic alloys T91 and HT9 was explored. Irradiations with 5.0 MeV Fe++ ions and degraded He++ ions were performed at 445°C up to damage levels of 150 dpa and helium co-injection rates of 0, 0.02, 0.2 and 4 appm He/dpa in T91, and at 460°C to a damage level of 188 dpa and helium co-injection rates of 0, 0.06 and 4 appm He/dpa in HT9. Helium was observed to enhance cavity nucleation at low damage levels, resulting in the maximum swelling at the highest helium co-injection rate. As the damage level was increased, the helium content at which swelling was maximized shifted to lower helium concentrations, ultimately resulting in the highest swelling occurring with zero helium by 150 dpa. This behavior was due to the helium-stabilized bubble microstructure that increased the cavity sink strength and reduced both cavity growth rate and swelling relative to the helium-free condition.

View PDF document here