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Can proton bombardment create cracking in materials?

  1. Nov 29, 2011 #1

    When neutrons hit materials, it can cause them to degrade and crack. The way this is measured is in displacements per atom. The equation for this effect is the following:

    Displacements per atom = neutron flux * time * materials cross section (@ that neutron energy)

    Cracks will form in a normal fission reactor when you reach 1 dpa or higher. As a benchmark, a typical PWR reactor core will experience between 0 and 90 dpa. Here is the question:

    1.Does bombarding a material with protons cause cracking or displacements?

    2. If yes, then what is the equation used to predict these displacements?

    3.Can this equation be used?

    4.Is there a similar effect found in: alpha particles, and hydrogen nuclei?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2011 #2


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    Bombarding a metal with neutrons or protons, or any ion, will cause damage, which varies according to the particle mass and energy. Obviously, neutrons are more penetrating than ions.

    Protons are the nuclei of hydrogen atoms.

    This paper might be of interest - Protonirradiationemulation of PWRneutrondamage microstructures in solution annealed 304 and cold-worked 316 stainless steels

    Proton irradiation is used to simulate radiation damage in structural alloys because it can replicate the damage without substantially activating the material.
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