JOM
, Volume 61, Issue 7, pp 44-50
Date: 09 Jul 2009

Effect of water vapor on high-temperature oxidation of FeCr alloys

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Abstract

The suppression of protective chromia scale formation in water vapor containing service environments limits in many cases the upper application temperature of high-Cr martensitic and ferritic steels. The present paper discusses the mechanisms which are responsible for this technologically important effect, using results of oxidation tests with two types of FeCr model alloys in Ar-O2, Ar-O2-H2O, and Ar(-H2)-H2O mixtures. The data shows that in atmospheres with a high ratio of water vapor to oxygen, Cr exhibits a higher tendency to become internally oxidized than in dry Ar-O2, or e.g. air. Contrary to previous studies which showed the presence of water vapor to affect transport processes in the scale and/or to enhance formation of volatile Cr species, the present results thus reveal that the presence of water vapor also affects the transport processes in the alloy, likely by incorporation of hydrogen.