Corrosion resistance investigation of vanadium alloys in liquid lithium
A major concern in using vanadium alloys for first wall/blanket systems in fusion reactors is their activity with regard to nonmetallic impurities in the coolants. This paper presents the results of studying the corrosion resistance in high-purity liquid lithium (with the nitrogen and carbon content of less than 10–3 wt %) of vanadium and vanadium alloys (V–1.86Ga, V–3.4Ga–0.62Si, V–4.81Ti–4.82Cr) both in the initial state and preliminarily irradiated with Ar+ ions with energy of 20 keV to a dose of 1022 m–2 at an irradiation temperature of ~400°C. The degree of corrosion was estimated by measuring the changes in the weight and microhardness. Corrosion tests were carried out under static isothermal conditions at a temperature of 600°C for 400 h. The identity of corrosion mechanisms of materials both irradiated with Ar ions and not irradiated, which consisted in an insignificant penetration of nitrogen into the materials and a substantial escape of oxygen from the materials, causing the formation of a zone with a reduced microhardness near the surface, was established. The influence of the corrosive action of lithium on the surface morphology of the materials under study was found, resulting in the manifestation of grain boundaries and slip lines on the sample surface, the latter being most clearly observed in the case of preliminary irradiation with Ar ions.