The Effects of KCl, NaCl and K2CO3 on the High-Temperature Oxidation Onset of Sanicro 28 Steel


The present study investigates the early stages in the oxidation process of Sanicro 28 (Fe31Cr27Ni) stainless steel when exposed to an alkali salt (KCl, NaCl or K2CO3) for 2 h at 450 and 535 °C. After the exposure, the oxidized samples were analyzed with a combinatory method (CA, XPS and SEM–EDX). It was found that all three salts were corrosive, and the overall oxidation reaction rate was much higher at 535 °C than at 450 °C. There were clear differences in terms of the impact of cations (Na+, K+) and anions (Cl, CO3 2−) on the initial corrosion process at both temperatures. When focusing on the cations, the presence of potassium ions resulted in a higher rate of chromate formation than in the presence of sodium ions. When studying the effect of anions, the oxidation of iron and chromium occurred at higher rates in the presence of both chloride salts than in the presence of the carbonate salt, and chloride salts seemed to possess higher diffusion rate in the gas phase and along the surface than carbonate salts. Moreover, at the higher temperature of 535 °C, the formed chromate reacted further to chromium oxide, and an ongoing oxidation process of iron and chromium was identified with a significantly higher reaction rate than at 450 °C.

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The author would like to thank Mr. Linus Silvander for operating the SEM-EDXA apparatus and Mr. Jyrki Juhanoja from Top Analytica Oy Ab for operating the XPS apparatus. This work has been carried out within CLIFF (2014-2017) as part of the activities of Åbo Akademi University. Other research partners are VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Aalto University and Tampere University of Technology. Support from the National Technology Agency of Finland (Tekes), Andritz Oy, Valmet Power Oy, Foster Wheeler Energia Oy, UPM-Kymmene Oyj, Clyde Bergemann GmbH, International Paper Inc., 3motion Oy and Top Analytica Oy Ab is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Jingxin Sui.

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Sui, J., Lehmusto, J., Bergelin, M. et al. The Effects of KCl, NaCl and K2CO3 on the High-Temperature Oxidation Onset of Sanicro 28 Steel. Oxid Met 85, 565–598 (2016).

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  • High temperature oxidation
  • Alkali salts
  • Sanicro 28
  • Corrosion onset