Microstructure and phase identification in type 304 stainless steel-zirconium alloys Academic Article uri icon


  • Stainless steel-zirconium alloys have been developed at Argonne National Laboratory to contain radioactive metal isotopes isolated from spent nuclear fuel. This article discusses the various phases that are formed in as-cast alloys of type 304 stainless steel and zirconium that contain up to 92 wt pct Zr. Microstructural characterization was performed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and crystal structure information was obtained by X-ray diffraction. Type 304SS-Zr alloys with 5 and 10 wt pct Zr have a three-phase microstructure-austenite, ferrite, and the Laves intermetallic, Zr(Fe,Cr,Ni)2+x, whereas alloys with 15, 20, and 30 wt pct Zr contain only two phases - ferrite and Zr(Fe,Cr,Ni)2+x. Alloys with 45 to 67 wt pct Zr contain a mixture of Zr(Fe,Cr,Ni)2+x and Zr2(Ni,Fe), whereas alloys with 83 and 92 wt pct Zr contain three phases - α-Zr, Zr2(Ni,Fe), and Zr(Fe,Cr,Ni)2+x. Fe3Zr-type and Zr3Fe-type phases were not observed in the type 304SS-Zr alloys. The changes in alloy microstructure with zirconium content have been correlated to the Fe-Zr binary phase diagram.

author list (cited authors)

  • Abraham, D. P., McDeavitt, S. M., & Park, J.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Abraham, Daniel P||McDeavitt, Sean M||Park, Jangyul

publication date

  • August 1996