Research Papers

Influence of Changes in Pressure and Temperature of Supercritical Water on the Susceptibility to Stress Corrosion Cracking of 316L Austenitic Stainless Steel

[+] Author and Article Information
Alberto Sáez-Maderuelo

Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT),
Avda. Complutense, 40,
Madrid, Spain
e-mail: alberto.saez@ciemat.es

Dolores Gómez-Briceño

Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT),
Avda. Complutense, 40,
Madrid, Spain
e-mail: lola.gomezbriceno@ciemat.es

César Maffiotte

Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT),
Avda. Complutense, 40,
Madrid, Spain
e-mail: cesar.maffiotte@ciemat.es

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received May 29, 2015; final manuscript received January 15, 2016; published online December 20, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Thomas Schulenberg.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 3(1), 011009 (Dec 20, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1100; doi: 10.1115/1.4032780 History: Received May 29, 2015; Accepted January 27, 2016

The supercritical water reactor (SCWR) is one of the Generation IV designs. The SCWR is characterized by its high efficiency, low waste production, and simple design. Despite the suitable properties of supercritical water as a coolant, its physicochemical properties change sharply with pressure and temperature in the supercritical region. For this reason, there are many doubts about how changes in these variables affect the behavior of the materials to general corrosion or to specific types of corrosion such as stress corrosion cracking (SCC). Austenitic stainless steels are candidate materials to build the SCWR due to their optimum behavior in the light water reactors (LWRs). Nevertheless, their behavior under the SCWR conditions is not well known. First, the objective of this work was to study the SCC behavior of austenitic stainless steel 316 type L in deaerated supercritical water at 400°C/25  MPa and 30 MPa and 500°C/25  MPa to determine how variations in pressure and temperature influence its behavior with regard to SCC and to make progress in the understanding of mechanisms involved in SCC processes in this environment. Second, the oxide layer formed at 400°C/30  MPa/<10  ppbO2 was analyzed to gain some insight into these processes.

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Fig. 1

Geometry of the samples tested in SCW. (a) Samples used in the stress corrosion tests. (b) Samples used in the oxidation tests

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Fig. 2

Stress–strain curves obtained after CERT tests in SCW at different pressures and temperatures

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Fig. 3

Stress–strain curves for specimens strained in supercritical water up to failure at 400°C and 500°C/25  MPa/<10  ppb O2

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Fig. 4

(a) Fracture surface of the specimen tested in supercritical water at 500°C/25  MPa/<10  ppb O2, granulated crack is highlighted. (b) The granulated crack at higher magnifications. (c) Fracture surface of the specimen tested in supercritical water at 400°C/25  MPa/<10  ppb O2. (d) An example of a crack found in the surface of a specimen tested in supercritical water (400°C/30  MPa/<10  ppb O2).

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Fig. 5

Comparison between the microstructure obtained by EBSD before the test and the same surface after the test in supercritical water at 500°C/25  MPa/<10  ppb O2

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Fig. 6

(a) Weight gains as a function of exposure time for the alloy 316L at 400°C/30  MPa with 8 ppm O2 and at 400°C/30  MPa in deaerated supercritical water. (b) SEM image of the surface of the specimen tested in supercritical water at 400°C/30  MPa/<10  ppb O2.

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Fig. 7

Elemental composition profiles of oxide layers formed on the alloy 316L at (a) 400°C/30  MPa/<10  ppb O2 (528 hrs) and at (b) 400°C/30  MPa/8  ppm O2 (760 hrs)



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