Oxidation of Metals

, Volume 38, Issue 5–6, pp 323–345 | Cite as

Oxide scale adhesion and impurity segregation at the scale/metal interface

  • Peggy Y. Hou
  • John Stringer


The chemistry at scale/metal interfaces was studied using scanning Auger microscopy after removal of the scale in ultra-high vacuum using an in situ scratching technique. Al2O3 and Cr2O3 scales formed between 900°C and 1100°C on Fe-18 wt.% Cr-5 wt.% Al and on Ni-25 wt.% Cr alloys, respectively, were investigated. The adhesion of these scales was determined qualitatively by way of micro-indentation and scratching on the surface oxide. All of the alumina scales fractured to the same degree to expose the metal surface, regardless of the oxidation temperature. The chromia-forming alloy on the other hand, developed more adherent scales at lower oxidation temperatures. About 20 at.% sulfur was found at the metal surface in all cases, and its presence was not only detected on interfacial voids, but also on areas where the scale was in contact with the alloy at temperature. Results from this study clearly demonstrated that sulfur as an alloying impurity does segregate to the scale/alloy interface. However, for alumina scales and chromia scales, the effect of this segregation on oxide adhesion is noticeably different.

Key words

sulfur segregation scale adhesion Al2O3 scale Cr2O3 scale scale/alloy interface scratch adhesion test micro-indentation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peggy Y. Hou
    • 1
  • John Stringer
    • 2
  1. 1.Materials Sciences DivisionLawrence Berkeley LaboratoryBerkeley
  2. 2.Electric Power Research InstitutePalo Alto

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