Ultrasupercritical (USC) coal-fired boilers, currently under study, will be required to utilize a variety of new, high strength alloys. These alloys will have improved mechanical properties compared with more traditional boiler materials and so will be suitable for operation in higher temperature service. However, environmental resistance, i.e. internal steam oxidation and external coal-ash corrosion, will be a factor limiting application of some materials under consideration. In those cases, the operating range of lower-cost alloys can be significantly extended by the use of surface modification techniques. This paper will review potential surface modification techniques and report on early test results of some laboratory evaluations.

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