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Title: Multiscale model of metal alloy oxidation at grain boundaries

High temperature intergranular oxidation and corrosion of metal alloys is one of the primary causes of materials degradation in nuclear systems. In order to gain insights into grain boundary oxidation processes, a mesoscale metal alloy oxidation model is established by combining quantum Density Functional Theory (DFT) and mesoscopic Poisson-Nernst-Planck/classical DFT with predictions focused on Ni alloyed with either Cr or Al. Analysis of species and fluxes at steady-state conditions indicates that the oxidation process involves vacancy-mediated transport of Ni and the minor alloying element to the oxidation front and the formation of stable metal oxides. The simulations further demonstrate that the mechanism of oxidation for Ni-5Cr and Ni-4Al is qualitatively different. Intergranular oxidation of Ni-5Cr involves the selective oxidation of the minor element and not matrix Ni, due to slower diffusion of Ni relative to Cr in the alloy and due to the significantly smaller energy gain upon the formation of nickel oxide compared to that of Cr{sub 2}O{sub 3}. This essentially one-component oxidation process results in continuous oxide formation and a monotonic Cr vacancy distribution ahead of the oxidation front, peaking at alloy/oxide interface. In contrast, Ni and Al are both oxidized in Ni-4Al forming a mixed spinel NiAl{submore » 2}O{sub 4}. Different diffusivities of Ni and Al give rise to a complex elemental distribution in the vicinity of the oxidation front. Slower diffusing Ni accumulates in the oxide and metal within 3 nm of the interface, while Al penetrates deeper into the oxide phase. Ni and Al are both depleted from the region 3–10 nm ahead of the oxidation front creating voids. The oxide microstructure is also different. Cr{sub 2}O{sub 3} has a plate-like structure with 1.2–1.7 nm wide pores running along the grain boundary, while NiAl{sub 2}O{sub 4} has 1.5 nm wide pores in the direction parallel to the grain boundary and 0.6 nm pores in the perpendicular direction providing an additional pathway for oxygen diffusion through the oxide. The proposed theoretical methodology provides a framework for modeling metal alloy oxidation processes from first principles and on the experimentally relevant length scales.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22415929
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 21; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ALUMINIUM ALLOYS; CHROMIUM ALLOYS; CHROMIUM OXIDES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CORROSION; DENSITY FUNCTIONAL METHOD; DIFFUSION; GAIN; GRAIN BOUNDARIES; INTERFACES; NICKEL ALLOYS; NICKEL OXIDES; OXIDATION; OXYGEN; SPINELS; VACANCIES