Duplex stainless steels for nuclear applications
25 June 2019
Langley Alloys has recently completed a contract for the supply of duplex stainless steel, for application in a nuclear power station.
Duplex stainless steels are commonly specified for applications involved with water treatment, desalination and distribution. This is due to their improved corrosion performance compared with more standard 3-series stainless steels. Langley Alloys supplies a number of leading manufacturers who produce pumps, valves, and fittings from forged bars.
Here, the final application is shafts that will be deployed within a nuclear application, most likely pump components for the water cooling circuits. Due to the very specific requirements of the final end use, we had to first confirm the absence of both silver and antimony from the alloy. Neither element is deliberate editions to duplex stainless steel (UNS S32205/S31803/F51/F60/Sanmac 2205/1.4462), but they are widely used in a variety of electronic equipment that could potentially contaminate steel scrap.
However, both elements can potentially be activated and become radioactive. These potentially radioactive particles would then be circulated throughout the complete water circuit, resulting in far greater amounts of equipment being contaminated than might otherwise be expected.
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