Surface analysis of TFTR vacuum vessel samples subjected to the post-weld heat treatment
To ensure the dimensional stability of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTP.) vacuum vessel, it is necessary to perform a post-weld heat treatment (PWHT). This process consists of heating the vessel segments to ~450° C for 1. 5h. The large size of the segments precludes a vacuum bake previous to installation. Effects of the PWHT on the vacuum vessel surface were studied using small samples of vessel material which were subjected to a variety of PWHT procedures, including inert gas purges and
... rt gas purges and different oven designs. Changes in topography and near-surface chemistry were investigated with SEH and sputter-Auger electron spectroscopy. These samples were compared with the surface properties of non-baked UHV-quality stainless steel. The primary difference noted between the PWHT samples and the non-baked control was the thickness of the passivation oxide layer. The thickness of this mixed oxide (FeO/Cr 2 0 3 /NiO) on the control sample was £ 100A» The thickness of the oxide layer on the heat-treated samples ranged between 230-350 A, depending on the method of the PWHT. The effect of hydrogen glow discharge cleaning on these thicker oxide layers, aind the consequences of such heat treatment procedure relative to oxygen impurity production in fusion devices are discussed.