Nano-indentation measurement of oxide layers formed in LBE on F/M steels

P. Hosemann, Gregory Swadener, J. Welch, N. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ferritic/martensitic (F/M) steels (T91, HT-9, EP 823) are candidate materials for future liquid lead or lead bismuth eutectic (LBE) cooled nuclear reactors. To understand the corrosion of these materials in LBE, samples of each material were exposed at 535 °C for 600 h and 200 h at an oxygen content of 10 wt%. After the corrosion tests, the samples were analyzed using SEM, WDX and nano-indentation in cross section. Multi-layered oxide scales were found on the sample surfaces. The compositions of these oxide layers are not entirely in agreement with the literature. The nano-indentation results showed that the E-modulus and hardness of the oxide layers are significantly lower than the values for dense bulk oxide materials. It is assumed that the low values stem from high porosity in the oxide layers. Comparison with in-air oxidized steels show that the E-modulus decreases with increasing oxide layer thickness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-205
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number1
Early online date6 Mar 2008
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2008


  • reactor
  • steel
  • nanindentation
  • oxidation


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