With the current interest in increased efficiency and reduced emissions, materials in power generation systems are increasingly exposed to more aggressive environments and higher temperatures. It is important to understand how these environments can increase corrosion rates, possibly reducing performance and likely shortening component lifetimes. Superalloys like 718 and its derivatives primarily rely on the formation of an external Cr-rich oxide layer or scale for environmental protection at typical application temperatures (=700°C). While many laboratory oxidation and creep experiments are conducted in ambient air, the application environment for these alloys often involves combustion products, such as H2O and CO-CO2. The effect of these environments is not completely understood, especially the impact of long-term exposures, typically required of superalloy components in turbines. Air and fuel impurities, especially S and Na, can result in accelerated degradation such as the well known hot corrosion attack. While the effect of environment on crack growth has been studied, less information is available on the effect of environment on creep and fatigue properties. Initial work is being conducted to better understand the role of environment on creep properties, eventually including in-situ testing. Examples are given from steam and wet air environments and comparisons of different superalloy compositions with cast versus wrought microstructures. (AU) © 2010 by The Materials, Metals, & Materials Society. All rights reserved.
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