Nuclear radiation can induce hardening and embrittlement of RPV steel. Solute defect copper rich precipitate / clusters is considered harden the base steel. Reduce or delay the irradiation hardening and embrittlement of RPV steel could be effective to ensure the safe operation of nuclear power. Furthermore, the expected target of the improved RPV steel will assist consummate nuclear power evaluation to decide whether feasible to extend the service lifetime of nuclear power plant from 40 to 60 years facing at present in China nuclear industry.
In order to study the precipitate phase Cu rich clusters, but different from the traditional methods, the present work employed a new technique, electromagnetic induction heating to produce a high temperature gradient along the model rod Fe-1.2wt.%Cu alloy sample. The results exhibit that this method can speed up the research process and is convenient to study the transformation in microstructure and hard / brittle defect phase formation of copper solute rich clusters. In addition, the change of Vickers hardness along the high temperature gradient assist denote the transformation in microstructure and the Cu rich clusters in quantity roughly. And large rolling deformation can promote formation of Cu rich cluster.