The aluminium alloy, named 6061-T6, is used as core component for the Jules Horowitz French experimental reactor (RJH). In order to improve the corrosion resistance, and to prevent the alloy from wear degradation, a coating is deposited at the surface of the alloy. The coating layer that is 50 µm thin is obtained by oxidation of the aluminium alloy.
The RJH core component will be subjected to neutron irradiation that may modify the microstructure of both the 6061-T6 alloy and the coating layer. Concerning the 6061-T6 alloy, the irradiation damages are well known: neutron irradiation induces the formation of dislocation loops, and causes the dissolution of the nano-precipitates. However, the effect of irradiation on both the coating layer and the interface metal/oxide remains unknown. One of the deleterious effect that may occur in reason of irradiation could be the peeling of the oxide coating and consequently the loss of the corrosion properties. Thus, the understanding of the irradiation response of the coating layer remain a key issue to guarantee a safe use of the coated aluminium alloy. Therefore, the aim of the study is to characterize the irradiation damage of ion irradiated coated aluminium alloys.