A Possible Mechanism for Protrusions Formation at the Metal/Oxide Interface During Short Time Oxidation of Ferritic Stainless Steel
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High temperature oxidation of ferritic stainless steel for short durations leads to the formation of an original morphology at the metal/oxide interface. This interface is composed of metallic protrusions localized in a chromium-rich oxide layer through a discontinuous silica film. In this paper we propose a mechanism based on preferential diffusion paths for the oxygen through the oxide that are governed by the distribution of the hydrostatic pressure in this layer. We point out that the mechanical contrast between the oxide and the metal subjected to creep can be critical for the hydrostatic pressure gradient magnitude inside the oxide layer. This observation is likely to promote the formation of protrusions for specific conditions of temperature and time of exposure to oxidation.
KeywordsStainless steel Oxidation Interface Modeling Finite element method Stress assisted diffusion
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