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Title: Intermetallic Strengthened Alumina-Forming Austenitic Steels for Energy Applications

In order to achieve energy conversion efficiencies of >50 % for steam turbines/boilers in power generation systems, the materials required must be strong, corrosion-resistant at high temperatures (>700°C), and economically viable. Austenitic steels strengthened with Laves phase and L12 precipitates, and alloyed with aluminum to improve oxidation resistance, are potential candidate materials for these applications. The creep resistance of these alloys is significantly improved through intermetallic strengthening (Laves-Fe2Nb + L12-Ni3Al precipitates) without harmful effects on oxidation resistance. Microstructural and microchemical analyses of the recently developed alumina-forming austenitic (AFA) steels (Fe-14Cr-32Ni-3Nb-3Al-2Ti-based) indicated they are strengthened by Ni3Al(Ti) L12, NiAl B2, Fe2Nb Laves phase and MC carbide precipitates. Different thermomechanical treatments (TMTs) were performed on these stainless steels in an attempt to further improve their mechanical properties. The thermo-mechanical processing produced nanocrystalline grains in AFA alloys and dramatically increased their yield strength at room temperature. Unfortunately, the TMTs didn’t increase the yield strengths of AFA alloys at ≥700ºC. At these temperatures, dislocation climb is the dominant mechanism for deformation of TMT alloys according to strain rate jump tests. After the characterization of aged AFA alloys, we found that the largest strengthening effect from L12 precipitates can be obtained by aging for lessmore » than 24 h. The coarsening behavior of the L12 precipitates was not influenced by carbon and boron additions. Failure analysis and post-mortem TEM analysis were performed to study the creep failure mechanisms of these AFA steels after creep tests. Though the Laves and B2-NiAl phase precipitated along the boundaries can improve the creep properties, cracks were still initiated and propagated along the boundaries, which suggests that the boundaries are still the weaker regions for causing fracture during creep, possibly due to the presence of a precipitatefree zone. The precipitate size distribution and kinetics of precipitate growth were quantified.« less
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  1. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States