Stress Corrosion Cracking and Internal Oxidation of Alloy 600 in High Temperature Hydrogenated Steam and Water

  • John Lindsay

Student thesis: Phd


In this study, the possibility of using low pressure hydrogenated steam to simulate primary water reactor conditions is examined. The oxides formed on Alloy 600 (WF675) between 350 Celsius and 500 Celsius in low pressure hydrogenated steam (with a ratio of oxygen at the Ni/NiO to oxygen in the system of 20) have been characterised using analytical electron microscopy (AEM) and compared to oxide that formed in a high pressure water in a autoclave at 350 Celsius with 30 cc/kg of hydrogen.Preferential oxidation of grain boundaries and bulk internal oxidation were observed on samples prepared by oxide polishing suspension (OPS). Conversely, samples mechanically ground to 600 grit produced a continuous, protective oxide film which suppressed the preferential and internal oxidation. The surface preparation changed the form of the oxides in both steam and autoclave tests. The preferential oxidation rate has been determined to be K_{oxide} = Aexp{-Q/RT}with A = 2.27×10^(-3) m^(2)s^(-1) and Q = 221 kJ.mol^(-1) (activation energy) for WF675 and A = 5.04 × 10^(-7) m^(2)s^(-1) and Q = 171 kJ.mol^(-1) for 15% cold worked WF675. These values are consistent with the activation energy of primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC) initiation.Bulk oxygen diffusivities were calculated from the internal oxidation after 500 h exposures. At 500 Celsius the oxygen diffusivity was determined to be 1.79×10^(-20) m^(2)s^(-1) for WF675 and 1.21×10^(-20) m^(2)s^(-1) for 15% cold worked WF675, the oxygen diffusivity at 400 Celsius in 15% cold worked WF675 was calculated to be 1.49×10^(-22) m^(2)s^(-1).The Cr-depletion associated with preferential oxidation has been assessed by AEM. The Cr-depletion was asymmetric and it could not be accounted for by local variations in the diffusion rate. Chemically induced grain boundary migration is suggested as a possible explanation.Constant load SCC tests conducted in hydrogenated steam at 400 Celsius have shown a similar trend to the classical dependency of PWSCC as a function of potential. The SCC samples were also prepared with two surface finishes, OPS and 600 grit. In all SCC tests, significantly more cracking was observed on the OPS surface and all failures initiated from this surface.
Date of Award1 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorXiaorong Zhou (Supervisor) & Fabio Scenini (Supervisor)


  • Internal Oxidation
  • Stress Corrosion Cracking
  • FIB
  • AEM
  • Preferential Oxidation Rate
  • Surface Deformed Layer
  • Carbide Oxidation
  • Grain Boundary Migration
  • Effect of Surface Preparation
  • Hydrogenated Steam Oxidation
  • WF675
  • Alloy 600
  • Oxygen Diffusion
  • Chromium Depletion
  • Cold Work

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