Strain-induced phase transformation at the surface of an AISI-304 stainless steel irradiated to 4.4 dpa and deformed to 0.8% strain
Surface relief due to localized deformation in a 4.4-dpa neutron-irradiated AISI 304 stainless steel was investigated using scanning electron microscopy coupled with electron backscattering diffraction and scanning transmission electron microscopy. It was found a body-centered-cubic (BCC) phase (deformation-induced martensite) had formed at the surface of the deformed specimen along the steps generated from dislocation channels. Martensitic hill-like formations with widths of ∼1 μm and depths of several microns were observed at channels with heights greater than ∼150 nm above the original surface. Martensite at dislocation channels was observed in grains along the [0 0 1]-[1 1 1] orientation but not in those along the [1 0 1] orientation.