In the later half of the last century great progress in alloy development for power applications was seen to improve thermal efficiency with increasing steam temperature. Meanwhile, many material-related troubles have been experienced due to rising temperature and uncertainty in the properties of fabricated metal. For further improvement in the thermal efficiency of fossil-fired power plants with ultra supercritical steam parameter conditions aiming at temperatures above 700°C, alloy development concepts and material issues with increasing steam temperature must be reviewed and discussed. In this paper new findings in the areas of alloy developments, creep failure in base metal and weldments, thermal fatigue failure and steam oxidation/hot corrosion are presented and discussed, as well as the economical aspect of material development, which is essential to realize unprecedented ultra supercritical steam conditions.

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