The complex nitride Z-phase, Cr(V,Nb)N, has recently been identified as a major cause for premature breakdown in creep strength of a number of new 9-12%Cr martensitic steels, especially the high Cr variants. A thermodynamic model of the Z-phase has been created based on the Thermo-Calc software. The model predicts the Z-phase to be stable in all of the new 9- 12%Cr martensitic steels, and this has generally been confirmed by experimental observations. Z-phase precipitation seems then to be a kinetic problem, and driving force calculations, using Thermo-Calc with the developed model, have been used to predict steel compositions, which could delay Z-phase precipitation. The model also predicted the existence of a new niobium free Z-phase variant, which has since been discovered in a niobium free 12CrMoV steel.

This content is only available as a PDF.