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The Effect of Shot Peening on Steam Oxidation of 304H Stainless Steel

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Shot peening is currently utilized in coal-fired power plant components to mitigate scale exfoliation issues from steamside oxidation of austenitic stainless steel superheater and reheater tubing. To focus on commercially available material, this study exposed quarter-ring specimens cut from two different commercially shot peened type 304H tubes and exposed to 1 bar steam for up to 15,000 h at 550°, 600°, 625°, and 650 °C. Specimens were removed at increments to characterize the oxide thickness and microstructure. The shot peened inner surface generally retained a thin, protective Cr-rich scale with occasional Fe-rich oxide nodules at 550–625 °C. The increased oxidation resistance from shot peening began to degrade at 650 °C after as little as 5,000 h. Cut and polished faces of these specimens formed thick, Fe-rich oxides similar to polished 304H coupons. Surprisingly, the mechanically machined outer surface of the tube specimens performed similarly to the shot peened inner diameter, suggesting it had sufficient cold work to achieve a similar benefit. Electron backscatter diffraction and Vickers-hardness measurements were used to characterize post-exposure changes in underlying microstructure and mechanical properties, respectively, imparted by shot peening.

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The authors would like to thank G. W. Garner, M. Howell, T. M. Lowe and T. Jordan for assistance with the experimental work. American Electric Power donated the shot peened 304H tubes for this study. R. Pillai and Y. Yamamoto at ORNL provided helpful comments on the manuscript. This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, Cross-cutting Technology Program.

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Correspondence to Bruce A. Pint.

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Kurley, J.M., Pint, B.A. The Effect of Shot Peening on Steam Oxidation of 304H Stainless Steel. Oxid Met 93, 159–174 (2020).

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  • Stainless steel
  • Shot peening
  • Cold work
  • Steam oxidation
  • Oxide spallation