High temperature performance of materials for future power plants

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Increasing energy demand leads to two crucial problems for the whole society. One is the economic cost and the other is the pollution of the environment, especially CO2 emissions. Despite efforts to adopt renewable energy sources, fossil fuels will continue to dominate. The temperature and stress are planned to be raised to 700 °C and 35 MPa respectively in the advanced ultra-supercritical (AUSC) power plants to improve the operating efficiency. However, the life of the components is limited by the properties of the materials. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the high temperature properties of materials used for future power plants.This thesis contains two parts. The first part is about developing creep rupture models for austenitic stainless steels. Grain boundary sliding (GBS) models have been proposed that can predict experimental results. Creep cavities are assumed to be generated at intersection of subboundaries with subboundary corners or particles on a sliding grain boundary, the so called double ledge model. For the first time a quantitative prediction of cavity nucleation for different types of commercial austenitic stainless steels has been made. For growth of creep cavities a new model for the interaction between the shape change of cavities and creep deformation has been proposed. In this constrained growth model, the affected zone around the cavities has been calculated with the help of FEM simulation. The new growth model can reproduce experimental cavity growth behavior quantitatively for different kinds of austenitic stainless steels. Based on the cavity nucleation models and the new growth models, the brittle creep rupture of austenitic stainless steels has been determined. By combing the brittle creep rupture with the ductile creep rupture models, the creep rupture strength of austenitic stainless steels has been predicted quantitatively. The accuracy of the creep rupture prediction can be improved significantly with combination of the two models.The second part of the thesis is on the fatigue properties of austenitic stainless steels and nickel based superalloys. Firstly, creep, low cycle fatigue (LCF) and creep-fatigue tests have been conducted for a modified HR3C (25Cr20NiNbN) austenitic stainless steel. The modified HR3C shows good LCF properties, but lower creep and creep-fatigue properties which may due to the low ductility of the material. Secondly, LCF properties of a nickel based superalloy Haynes 282 have been studied. Tests have been performed for a large ingot. The LCF properties of the core and rim positions did not show evident differences. Better LCF properties were observed when compared with two other low γ’ volume fraction nickel based superalloys. Metallography study results demonstrated that the failure mode of the material was transgranular. Both the initiation and growth of the fatigue cracks were transgranular.