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Research Papers: Nuclear Power

Chromium Activity Measurements in Nickel Based Alloys for Very High Temperature Reactors: Inconel 617, Haynes 230, and Model Alloys

[+] Author and Article Information
Stéphane Gossé, Thierry Alpettaz, Sylvie Chatain, Christine Guéneau

Laboratoire de Modélisation, de Thermodynamique et de Thermochimie, CEA Saclay-DEN/DANS/DPC/SCP, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 131(6), 062901 (Jul 15, 2009) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3094017 History: Received October 20, 2008; Revised November 28, 2008; Published July 15, 2009

The alloys Haynes 230 and Inconel 617 are potential candidates for the intermediate heat exchangers (IHXs) of (very) high temperature reactors ((V)-HTRs). The behavior under corrosion of these alloys by the (V)-HTR coolant (impure helium) is an important selection criterion because it defines the service life of these components. At high temperature, the Haynes 230 is likely to develop a chromium oxide on the surface. This layer protects from the exchanges with the surrounding medium and thus confers certain passivity on metal. At very high temperature, the initial microstructure made up of austenitic grains and coarse intra- and intergranular M6C carbide grains rich in W will evolve. The M6C carbides remain and some M23C6 richer in Cr appear. Then, carbon can reduce the protective oxide layer. The alloy loses its protective coating and can corrode quickly. Experimental investigations were performed on these nickel based alloys under an impure helium flow (Rouillard, F., 2007, “Mécanismes de formation et de destruction de la couche d’oxyde sur un alliage chrominoformeur en milieu HTR,” Ph.D. thesis, Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne, France). To predict the surface reactivity of chromium under impure helium, it is necessary to determine its chemical activity in a temperature range close to the operating conditions of the heat exchangers (T1273K). For that, high temperature mass spectrometry measurements coupled to multiple effusion Knudsen cells are carried out on several samples: Haynes 230, Inconel 617, and model alloys 1178, 1181, and 1201. This coupling makes it possible for the thermodynamic equilibrium to be obtained between the vapor phase and the condensed phase of the sample. The measurement of the chromium ionic intensity (I) of the molecular beam resulting from a cell containing an alloy provides the values of partial pressure according to the temperature. This value is compared with that of the pure substance (Cr) at the same temperature. These calculations provide thermodynamic data characteristic of the chromium behavior in these alloys. These activity results call into question those previously measured by Hilpert and Ali-Khan (1978, “Mass Spectrometric Studies of Alloys Proposed for High-Temperature Reactor Systems: I. Alloy IN-643,” J. Nucl. Mater., 78, pp. 265–271; 1979, “Mass Spectrometric Studies of Alloys Proposed for High-Temperature Reactor Systems: II. Inconel Alloy 617 and Nimomic Alloy PE 13,” J. Nucl. Mater., 80, pp. 126–131), largely used in the literature.

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Figures

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Figure 1

HTMS with multiple effusion Knudsen cells

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Figure 2

Cell block with multiple effusion Knudsen cells

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Figure 3

Logarithm of the chromium ionic intensity and temperature product (ln IT) versus reciprocal temperature for pure Cr in the 1423–1538 K temperature range

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Figure 4

Measurements of the chromium activity in the Inconel 617 alloy (three runs) compared with Hilpert and Ali-Khan (10,12) results

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Figure 5

Measurements of the chromium activity in the Haynes 230 alloy (three runs)

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Figure 6

Measurements of the chromium activity in the model alloys 1201, 1181, and 1178

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