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Ferritic high performance steels

Rasterelektronenmikroskopische Aufnahme von (Fe,Cr,Si)2(Nb,W) Partikeln in einem ferritischen 17 Gew.-% Chromstahl nach 1000 Stunden Betrieb bei 650 °C.Scanning electron micrograph of (Fe, Cr, Si)2(Nb, W) particles in a ferritic 17 wt-% chromium steel after 1000 hours of operation at 650 °C.

High chromium ferritic steels are a new approach in the development of high temperature structural materials.

Owing to their high chromium contents of 15 to 25 wt-% ferritic stainless steels provide good protection against corrosion, even at high temperatures. Traditionally ferritic stainless steels suffered of relatively low mechanical strength at high temperature. Because of the low solubility of carbon and / or nitrogen in ferrite sufficient strengthening cannot be achieved on the basis of carbide, nitride and / or carbonitride precipitation. This drawback was overcome by alloying of ferrite with niobium and tungsten. Combined solid solution and precipitation strengthening, based on finely dispersed intermetallic (Fe, Cr, Si)2(Nb, W) Laves phase particles, enables unmatched mechanical strength properties.

Ferritic high performance steels open up new potentials in a variety of high temperature applications like ceramic fuel cells, heat exchangers, exhaust systems and thermal energy conversion and storage systems.

In 2015 IEK-2 was awarded with the internationally renowned Charles Hatchett Award for basic research on the application potentials of this class of steels (Pressemitteilung des Forschungszentrums Jülich).

"HiperFer (High Performance Ferrite) steels" are the result of optimization regarding the application in future, highly efficient and operationally flexible thermal power plants, where

  • thermomechanical fatigue resistance
  • creep strength
  • resistance to steam oxidation
  • and furthermore application-specific technological properties

will be crucial for applicability and durability of new materials.

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