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Oxidation Behavior of Welded Fe-Based and Ni-Based Alloys in Supercritical CO2

Abstract

Next-generation supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power cycles will require different classes of alloy throughout the operational temperatures to optimize tradeoff of creep strength, oxidation performance and cost. This will necessitate joining methods such as welding, which might pose compatibility concerns at the joined interfaces. In this study, similar and dissimilar metal welds were generated from a variety of candidate alloys for sCO2 systems including ferritic/martensitic steels, austenitic steels, and Ni-based superalloys. Samples were extracted from different regions of the welds and exposed to sCO2 at 550 °C and 20 MPa for 2500 h and then characterized to understand their behavior in this environment. Unsurprisingly, the local oxidation behavior was largely dictated by the Cr content in the underlying metal. High-Cr austenitic steels and Ni alloys formed slow-growing Cr-rich oxide scales with minimal carburization of the underlying metal, while low-Cr ferritic/martensitic steels formed fast-growing Fe-rich oxide scales with significant carburization. Most welds did not show any unusual oxidation behavior at the interfaces, considering the local Cr content. The one exception was the 347H similar metal weld, where a larger grain size and complex grain structure in the fusion zone led to a significantly higher rate of Fe-rich oxide nodule formation compared to the base metal. This suggests that microstructural changes at joined interfaces can play an important role on the oxidation-limited lifetimes in future sCO2 systems. The composition changes across the interfaces enabled study of the effect of Fe on the growth rate of Cr-rich oxides and of the origins of the subsurface recrystallization zone that forms beneath them.

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Acknowledgements

This work was performed in support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy Crosscutting Technology Research Program. The Research was executed through the National Energy Technology Laboratory Research and Innovation Center’s Advanced Alloy Development Field Work Proposal. This research was supported in part by appointment (LT) to the National Energy Technology Laboratory Research Participation Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). We thank Christopher McKaig (NETL) and Matthew Fortner (NETL) for metallographic preparation of the sample cross-sections and Peter Eschbach (Oregon State University) for performing the EBSD analysis. Welding of the alloys was performed at Edison Welding Institute.

Funding

This work was funded by the Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, an agency of the United States Government, through an NETL Support Contractor. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, nor the contractor, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

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Correspondence to Richard P. Oleksak.

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Oleksak, R.P., Carney, C.S., Teeter, L. et al. Oxidation Behavior of Welded Fe-Based and Ni-Based Alloys in Supercritical CO2. Oxid Met (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11085-021-10080-5

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Keywords

  • Steel oxidation
  • Supercritical CO2
  • Cr-rich oxide
  • Carburization
  • Gas tungsten arc welding
  • Recrystallization