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Acta Metall Sin  2020, Vol. 56 Issue (3): 321-332    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2019.00276
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Effect of Nb on Microstructure and Corrosion Resistance of Fe22Cr5Al3Mo Alloy
QIAN Yue1,SUN Rongrong1,ZHANG Wenhuai1,YAO Meiyi1(),ZHANG Jinlong1,ZHOU Bangxin1,QIU Yunlong2,YANG Jian3,CHENG Guoguang4,DONG Jianxin5
1. Institute of Materials, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072, China
2. Zhongxing Energy Equipment Co. , Ltd. , Haimen 226126, China
3. State Key Laboratory of Advanced Special Steel, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
4. State Key Laboratory of Advanced Metallurgy, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
5. School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
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Fe-Cr-Al alloy is a promising candidate accident tolerant fuel (ATF) cladding material. It is helpful to developing Fe-Cr-Al alloy with excellent corrosion resistance by investigating the effect of chemical composition on its corrosion behavior under the normal condition of simulated nuclear reactor operation. In this work, the effect of Nb content (0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0%, mass fraction) on the corrosion resistance of Fe22Cr5Al3Mo alloys in 500 ℃ and 10.3 MPa superheated steam was investigated by static autoclave tests. The microstructures of the alloys and oxide films formed on the alloys after different exposure time were observed and analyzed by EBSD, TEM, EDS and SEM. The results showed that the second phase particles (SPPs) of Nb(C, N), Fe2(Nb, Mo) and Cr2(Nb, Mo) were precipitated and the grains were finer in the Nb-containing alloys. The corrosion resistance of the alloys was further improved with the increase of Nb content (in the case of Nb≥1.0%). The oxides of Fe, Cr and Al were formed separately in the oxide layer from outside to inside. Compared with the Nb-free alloy, the interfaces of different oxides were clearer and had a more obvious stratification resulting from the oxides with different composition appeared in the oxide film on the alloy with 1.0%Nb. The thickness of oxide film on the alloy with 1.0%Nb was more uniform than that on the alloy without Nb. At the oxide film and metal matrix interface, the alumina layer on the Nb-free alloy was dispersive, and the alumina particles were detected in both the matrix and chromium oxide scale, which illustrated the internal oxidation of aluminum occurred. While the alumina layer on the alloy with 1.0%Nb was more uniform and continuous. This indicated that the addition of Nb inhibited the internal oxidation of aluminum, and promoted the formation of uniform and continuous alumina layer, therefore reduced the oxidation rate of the alloy.

Key words:  Fe-Cr-Al alloy      Nb      microstructure      corrosion      oxide film     
Received:  19 August 2019     
ZTFLH:  TG142.1  
Fund: National Natural Science Foundation of China(51871141)
Corresponding Authors:  Meiyi YAO     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

QIAN Yue,SUN Rongrong,ZHANG Wenhuai,YAO Meiyi,ZHANG Jinlong,ZHOU Bangxin,QIU Yunlong,YANG Jian,CHENG Guoguang,DONG Jianxin. Effect of Nb on Microstructure and Corrosion Resistance of Fe22Cr5Al3Mo Alloy. Acta Metall Sin, 2020, 56(3): 321-332.

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Table 1  Chemical compositions of the Fe22Cr5Al3Mo-xNb alloys (mass fraction / %)
Fig.1  XRD spectra of Fe22Cr5Al3Mo-xNb alloys
Fig.2  EBSD images of grain boundaries of Fe22Cr5Al3Mo-xNb alloysColor online(a) 0Nb (b) 0.5Nb (c) 1.0Nb (d) 2.0Nb
Alloy(110)(200)(211)ā / nm
θ / (°)d / nmθ / (°)d / nmθ / (°)d / nm
Table 2  XRD characteristic peak parameters (θ, d) and average lattice constant (ā) of Fe22Cr5Al3Mo-xNb alloy
Fig.3  TEM bright field images of the second phase particles (SPPs) of 0.5Nb (a1), 0Nb (a2, a3), 1.0Nb (a4) and 2.0Nb (a5, a6), and SAED patterns (b1~b5) and EDS results (c1~c5) corresponding to the P1~P5 typical SPPs respectively in Fe22Cr5Al3Mo-xNb alloys
Alloyhcp-Fe2Nbhcp-Cr2Nbfcc-Cr23C6o-Fe3Cfcc-Nb(C, N)
0.5Nb150~200About 500--About 190
1.0Nb150~800500~750--About 185
2.0Nb300~2000500~800--About 170
Table 3  Size statistics of the typical SPPs in Fe22Cr5Al3Mo-xNb alloys (nm)
Fig.4  Mass gain curves of Fe22Cr5Al3Mo-xNb alloys corroded in 500 ℃, 10.3 MPa superheated steam (a), and the relationship between corrosion mass gain after 1000 h exposure and Nb content (b)
Fig.5  SEM images of oxide films formed on the 0Nb (a1~a3) and 1.0Nb (b1~b3) alloys after corrosion in 500 ℃, 10.3 MPa superheated steam for 3 h (a1, b1), 500 h (a2, b2) and 1000 h (a3, b3)
Fig.6  HAADF images of the cross-sectional oxide films formed on the 0Nb (a, c) and 1.0Nb (b, d) alloys after corrosion in 500 ℃, 10.3 MPa superheated steam for 3 h (a, b) and 500 h (c, d)
Fig.7  HAADF image (a), TEM image and SAED patterns (insets) (b), EDS line scans corresponding line 1 in Fig.7a (c) and EDS plane scans (d) of the cross-sectional oxide film formed on 0Nb alloy after 3 h corrosion in 500 ℃, 10.3 MPa superheated steam (O/M—oxide film/metal)Color online
Fig.8  HAADF image (a), TEM image and SAED patterns (insets) (b), EDS line scans corresponding line 2 in Fig.8a (c) and EDS plane scans (d) of the cross-sectional oxide film formed on 1.0Nb alloy after 3 h corrosion in 500 ℃, 10.3 MPa superheated steamColor online
Fig.9  HAADF image (a), TEM image and SAED patterns (insets) (b), EDS line scans corresponding Line 3 in Fig.9a (c) and EDS plane scans (d) of the cross-sectional oxide film formed on 0Nb alloy after 500 h corrosion in 500 ℃, 10.3 MPa superheated steamColor online
Fig.10  HAADF image (a), TEM image and SAED patterns (insets) (b), EDS line scans corresponding line 4 in Fig.10a (c) and EDS plane scans (d) of the cross-sectional oxide film formed on 1.0Nb alloy after 500 h corrosion in 500 ℃, 10.3 MPa superheated steamColor online
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