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Pressurised Water Reactor plants (PWRs), commonly used to generate nuclear power, often deploy metallic condensers as their primary containment along with reinforced concrete enclosures that can withstand environmental effects, provide radiation shielding and collect particulates. Due to the nature and longevity of their application these condensers need to be very hard wearing and corrosion resistant.
In order to better understand the behaviours of condenser materials, scientists at Rolls Royce and UKAEA used in situ X-ray diffraction at Diamond to study the phase evolution of two hard-facing alloys used in pressurised water reactor environments.
Using Triselle 5183 and triplex RR2450 alloys produced by gas-atomisation, they simulated hot isostatic pressing cycles then observed the metastability of the gas-atomised powders. The results helped the scientists to understand the influence this process has on the rate of high-temperature γ→δ transformation within the RR2450 alloy.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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