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Stainless steel retains strength and has excellent oxidation resistance from room temperature to nearly 1000 deg C relative to competitive materials. This chapter focuses on the high-temperature oxidation of stainless steel by oxygen or water vapor. It begins by discussing the thermodynamic conditions and electrochemical nature of oxidation and providing information on transient oxidation. This is followed by a description of Wagner's theory for metal oxidation. The volatile nature of Cr2O3 is then reviewed. The chapter further discusses the causes and preventive measures of spalling and cracking of oxide scale. It ends with a section providing information on oxidation behaviors under less-oxidizing atmospheres.

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