The corrosion behavior of commercial and model FeCrAl alloys and type 310 stainless steel was examined by autoclave tests and compared to Zircaloy-4, the reference cladding materials in light water reactors. The corrosion studies were carried out in three distinct water chemistry environments found in pressurized and boiling water reactor primary coolant loop conditions for up to one year. The structure and morphology of the oxides formed on the surface of these alloys was consistent with thermodynamic predictions. Spinel-type oxides were found to be present after hydrogen water chemistry exposures, while the oxygenated water tests resulted in the formation of very thin and protective hematite-type oxides. Unlike the alloys exposed to oxygenated water tests, the alloys tested in hydrogen water chemistry conditions experienced mass loss as a function of time. This mass loss was the result of net sum of mass gain due to parabolic oxidation and mass loss due to dissolution that also exhibits parabolic kinetics. The maximum thickness loss after one year of LWR water corrosion in the absence of irradiation was ∼2 μm, which is inconsequential for a ∼300–500 μm thick cladding.
Terrani, K. A., Pint, B. A., Kim, Y. J., Unocic, K. A., Yang, Y., Silva, C. M., … Rebak, R. B. (2016). Uniform corrosion of FeCrAl alloys in LWR coolant environments. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 479, 36–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2016.06.047