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Title: Oxide Morphology of a FeCrAl Alloy, Kanthal APMT, following Extended Aging at 300-600C

Abstract

Iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys are of interest to the nuclear materials community due to their resistance to high temperature steam oxidation under accident conditions. The present work investigates oxide formation at temperatures relevant to light water reactor cladding operation following extended aging to assess growth kinetics, chemical composition, and microstructure of oxide formation on a commercial FeCrAl alloy, Fe-21wt.%Cr-5wt.%Al-3wt.%Mo (Kanthal APMT). Aging treatments were performed for 100-1000 hours in stagnant air at 300, 400, 500, and 600 °C, respectively. Oxide growth behavior under the investigated conditions follows a logarithmic time dependence. When the oxidization temperature is 400 °C or below, the oxide is amorphous. At 500 °C, isolated crystalline regions start to appear during short period aging time and expand with extended exposures. Crystalline α-Al2O3 oxide film develops at 600 °C and the correlated logarithmic rate constant decreases significantly, indicating enhanced oxidation resistance of the formed oxide film. In addition, Mo segregation at grain boundaries has been observed when the aging temperature exceeds 500 °C. The results of this study can be viewed as an upper bounding result for potential oxide coarsening during reactor operation.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of Texas, San Antonio, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1392894
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-28480
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Li, Nan, Parker, Stephen Scott, and Wood, Elizabeth Sooby. Oxide Morphology of a FeCrAl Alloy, Kanthal APMT, following Extended Aging at 300-600C. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1392894.
Li, Nan, Parker, Stephen Scott, & Wood, Elizabeth Sooby. Oxide Morphology of a FeCrAl Alloy, Kanthal APMT, following Extended Aging at 300-600C. United States. doi:10.2172/1392894.
Li, Nan, Parker, Stephen Scott, and Wood, Elizabeth Sooby. Tue . "Oxide Morphology of a FeCrAl Alloy, Kanthal APMT, following Extended Aging at 300-600C". United States. doi:10.2172/1392894. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1392894.
@article{osti_1392894,
title = {Oxide Morphology of a FeCrAl Alloy, Kanthal APMT, following Extended Aging at 300-600C},
author = {Li, Nan and Parker, Stephen Scott and Wood, Elizabeth Sooby},
abstractNote = {Iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys are of interest to the nuclear materials community due to their resistance to high temperature steam oxidation under accident conditions. The present work investigates oxide formation at temperatures relevant to light water reactor cladding operation following extended aging to assess growth kinetics, chemical composition, and microstructure of oxide formation on a commercial FeCrAl alloy, Fe-21wt.%Cr-5wt.%Al-3wt.%Mo (Kanthal APMT). Aging treatments were performed for 100-1000 hours in stagnant air at 300, 400, 500, and 600 °C, respectively. Oxide growth behavior under the investigated conditions follows a logarithmic time dependence. When the oxidization temperature is 400 °C or below, the oxide is amorphous. At 500 °C, isolated crystalline regions start to appear during short period aging time and expand with extended exposures. Crystalline α-Al2O3 oxide film develops at 600 °C and the correlated logarithmic rate constant decreases significantly, indicating enhanced oxidation resistance of the formed oxide film. In addition, Mo segregation at grain boundaries has been observed when the aging temperature exceeds 500 °C. The results of this study can be viewed as an upper bounding result for potential oxide coarsening during reactor operation.},
doi = {10.2172/1392894},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Sep 19 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Sep 19 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • To develop the next generation of accident-tolerant fuel cladding for light-water nuclear reactors, wrought FeCrAlY alloys with varying amounts of Cr and Al and commercial Kanthal APMT alloy were evaluated for short-term (4 h) oxidation resistance in steam and air at 1200–1475 °C. Model alloys with lower Cr contents and higher Al contents were evaluated in this paper as lower Cr contents are desirable for radiation damage resistance during operation. As expected, a synergistic effect was found between the Cr and Al contents to enable protective Al 2O 3 formation under these conditions. Characterization of the alumina scales formed inmore » steam found that the scale morphology was affected by the alloy Y content and detailed scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) detected Y segregation along scale grain boundaries at 1200 °C. However, after 4 h at 1475 °C, Y and Hf were not segregated to the oxide grain boundaries formed on APMT and the scale had a single layer structure. Finally, compared to oxidation in air, STEM characterization of the outer scale showed differences in the Fe and Cr distributions in steam.« less
  • In FY2014 our group completed and documented analysis of new Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) concepts using BISON. We have modeled the viability of moving from Zircaloy to stainless steel cladding in traditional light water reactors (LWRs). We have explored the reactivity penalty of this change using the MCNP-based burnup code Monteburns, while attempting to minimize this penalty by increasing the fuel pellet radius and decreasing the cladding thickness. Fuel performance simulations using BISON have also been performed to quantify changes to structural integrity resulting from thinner stainless steel claddings. We account for thermal and irradiation creep, fission gas swelling, thermalmore » swelling and fuel relocation in the models for both Zircaloy and stainless steel claddings. Additional models that account for the lower oxidation stainless steel APMT are also invoked where available. Irradiation data for HT9 is used as a fallback in the absence of appropriate models. In this study the isotopic vectors within each natural element are varied to assess potential reactivity gains if advanced enrichment capabilities were levied towards cladding technologies. Recommendations on cladding thicknesses for a robust cladding as well as the constitutive components of a less penalizing composition are provided. In the first section (section 1-3), we present results accepted for publication in the 2014 TOPFUEL conference regarding the APMT/UO₂ ATF concept (J. Galloway & C. Unal, Accident Tolerant and Neutronically Favorable LWR Cladding, Proceedings of WRFPM 2014, Sendai, Japan, Paper No.1000050). Next we discuss our preliminary findings from the thermo-mechanical analysis of UN-U₃Si₅ fuel with APMT clad. In this analysis we used models developed from limited data that need to be updated when the irradiation data from ATF-1 test is available. Initial results indicate a swelling rate less than 1.5% is needed to prevent excessive clad stress.« less
  • Films on alloy 600 steam generator tubing with IGA were characterized to assess the environmental conditions in which the films were formed and thus the environmental conditions which may have caused the IGA. Tubing was analyzed which was from a tube support crevice in the North Anna-1 steam generator. The film composition suggested that the environment at both the outside surface of the tube in the crevice and in the crack was in the range from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline. Boron was also observed in the cracks, indicating that the boric acid injected into the secondary water penetrated intomore » the tube support crevice. The film on the outside surface of a tube removed from the tubesheet crevice of the retired Peach Bottom-1 steam generator suggested either a mildly alkaline solution or a thin liquid film surrounded by steam. The film compositions observed in the cracks of the alloy 600 tubing from Point Beach-1 indicated a caustic solution which increased in caustic concentration from the crack opening to the crack tip.« less
  • Development of the 2nd generation ATF FeCrAl alloy has been initiated, and a candidate alloy was selected for trial tube fabrication through hot-extrusion and gun-drilling processes. Four alloys based on Fe-13Cr-4.5Al-0.15Y in weight percent were newly cast with minor alloying additions of Mo, Si, Nb, and C to promote solid-solution and second-phase precipitate strengthening. The alloy compositions were selected with guidance from computational thermodynamic tools. The lab-scale heats of ~ 600g were arc-melted and drop-cast, homogenized, hot-forged and -rolled, and then annealed producing plate shape samples. An alloy with Mo and Nb additions (C35MN) processed at 800°C exhibits very finemore » sub-grain structure with the sub-grain size of 1-3μm which exhibited more than 25% better yield and tensile strengths together with decent ductility compared to the other FeCrAl alloys at room temperature. It was found that the Nb addition was key to improving thermal stability of the fine sub-grain structure. Optimally, grains of less than 30 microns are desired, with grains up to and order of magnitude in desired produced through Nb addition. Scale-up effort of the C35MN alloy was made in collaboration with a commercial cast company who has a capability of vacuum induction melting. A 39lb columnar ingot with ~81mm diameter and ~305mm height (with hot-top) was commercially cast, homogenized, hot-extruded, and annealed providing 10mm-diameter bar-shape samples with the fine sub-grain structure. This commercial heat proved consistent with materials produced at ORNL at the lab-scale. Tubes and end caps were machined from the bar sample and provided to another work package for the ATF-1 irradiation campaign in the milestone M3FT-14OR0202251.« less
  • The present report summarizes Berkovich nanoindentation modulus and hardness measurements on two candidate FeCrAl alloys (C35M and C37M) on as-received (AR) and welded samples. In addition, spherical nanoindentation stress-strain measurements were performed on individual grains to provide further information and demonstrate the applicability of these protocols to mechanically characterizing welds in FeCrAl alloys. The indentation results are compared against the reported tensile properties for these alloys to provide relationships between nanoindentation and tensile tests and insight into weldsoftening for these FeCrAl alloys. Hardness measurements revealed weld-softening for both alloys in good agreement with tensile test results. C35M showed a largermore » reduction in hardness at the weld center from the AR material compared to C37M; this is also consistent with tensile tests. In general, nanohardness was shown to be a good predictor of tensile yield strength and ultimate tensile stress for FeCrAl alloys. Spherical nanoindentation measurements revealed that the fusion zone (FZ) + heat affected zone (HAZ) has a very low defect density typical of well-annealed metals as indicated by the frequent pop-in events. Spherical nanoindentation yield strength, Berkovich hardness, and tensile yield strength measurements on the welded material all show that the C37M welded material has a higher strength than C35M welded material. From the comparison of nanoindentation and tensile tests, EBSD microstructure analysis, and information on the processing history, it can be deduced that the primary driver for weld-softening is a change in the defect structure at the grain-scale between the AR and welded material. These measurements serve as baseline data for utilizing nanoindentation for studying the effects of radiation damage on these alloys.« less