The oxidation resistance of 9-12% chromium steels in steam-containing environments simulating the service conditions of steam power plant has been investigated for exposure times ranging from 1 h up to 10 000 h. For characterizing the oxidation behavior, the results of gravimetric studies were combined with data obtained from a number of analysis techniques, such as optical metallography, SEM/EDX and LRS. Different mechanisms of oxidation were observed for the various steels in different temperature regimes, exposure times and exposure conditions. The cracking and spallation of scales was correlated with the type, morphology and growth of pores and voids in the scale and could be influenced by the steel microstructure. For some steels, the steam oxidation resistance increased with increasing exposure temperature. The oxidation rates only slightly depend on the exact water vapor content in the test gas but can be strongly affected by the gas flow rates.

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