October 27, 2022
Effect of Applied Stress on the Selective Oxidation of Alloy 600 Exposed to PWR Primary Water and Rhines Pack Environments
AbstractA mechanistic understanding of corrosion and oxidation processes is crucial to ensure long-term resistance to stress corrosion cracking of Ni-base structural alloys in pressurized water reactor (PWR) primary and secondary systems. Aqueous corrosion of Ni-base alloys under PWR primary water conditions was previously compared to gaseous oxidation with comparable oxygen potentials. However, those studies considered only stress-free conditions, which removes a critical parameter for understanding stress corrosion behaviors. A significant knowledge gap exists for the role of applied stresses on selective internal oxidation in gaseous environments. A micro-4-point-bend jig was designed to facilitate stress in a Rhines Pack set-up. Selective oxidation at different stress and strain conditions was investigated in a series of Rhines Pack experiments for Alloy 600. Focused ion beam milling enabled the extraction of site-specific specimens containing selected high-energy grain boundaries from tensile and compressive stress regions. Analytical transmission electron microscopy was employed to analyze the microstructure and chemical composition of the resulting oxides. Protective surface oxide films and selective intergranular oxides were observed at different conditions. The implications of these fundamental differences are discussed relative to intergranular attack and stress corrosion cracking mechanisms in PWR primary water.
Published: October 27, 2022