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Life extension of alumina forming alloys in HT corrosion environment


This Focused Fundamental Research Programme is aimed at improving the chemical failure resistance of alumina scales which are essential for the corrosion protection of current and future MeCrAIRE alloys (where Me = Fe, Ni, Co and RE = reactive element) for high temperature industrial applications, such as automotive catalytic converter supports, furnace components, power generation, plant structural components, etc. The crucial importance of chemical failure in ultimately goveming the lifetime of such components under service conditions has been identified, and emanated from a recently completed Brite/Euram Project BRE-CT94-0605 whose principal goals were the mechanistic understanding/modelling of the mechanical failure of these scales. The present programme is a logical extension of this work. Its industrial and technical objectives are to: I) understand the mechanisms of the chemical failure of alumina forming alloys leading to breakaway corrosion; particularly the role of minor alloying additions impurities within commercial alloys and the role of more complex industrially relevant (e.g. combustion) environments, as well as oxidising conditions. 2) develop mathematical models capable of predicting the onset of chemical failure and thus the durability of high temperature alumina forming alloys for a range of industrial service environments and conditions. 3) recommend modifications toy compositions, pretreatments and plant operating procedures for extended life. These objectives will be achieved by a two phase technical programme. Phase I will address chemical failure under oxidising conditions and involve five tasks (critical analysis of available information; materials selection; definition of test methodologies; data generation/mechanistic understanding; life time prediction model development). This will be followed by Phase 2 concerned with chemical failure under gas phase corrosion conditions comprising of four tasks (data generation/mechanistic understanding; extension of life prediction model; potential life time improvement procedures; model validations). Six critical milestones will be incorporated at various stages through the project. This world leading research programme will involve the collaboration of ten partners from four member countries with complimentary skills and the necessary test facilities. Six of the partners were involved in the previous successful Brite/Euram programme on the mechanical failure of alumina scales, augmented by four new partners with appropriate expertise in corrosion testing under gas phase contaminant conditions and surface engineering, necessary for the successful completion of this project. Three partners are major industrial producers of these high temperature, corrosion resistant alloys covering the three main market sectors, while a fourth, an SME, is a specialised surface treatment producer. No new capital equipment will be required to undertake the programme. Rapid dissemination of results will be achieved by the involvement of the major industrial partners within the programrne and through two workshops which are scheduled as project milestones.

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