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To the Corrosion of Austenitic Steel in Sodium Loops

M. Schad

Nuclear Technology / Volume 50 / Number 3 / Pages 267-288

October 1980


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We investigated whether it is possible to predict corrosion effects for austenitic steels exposed to liquid sodium with an analytical diffusion model The comparison between experimental measurements of corrosion and calculated corrosion effects is described. A diffusion model served as the basis for the calculations. The comparison showed that the analytical model is able to predict the corrosion effects. The diffusion model is based on the observed sodium corrosion characteristics. It includes the upstream history of the sodium as well as the influence of the corroding wall at the considered location. The test loop’s maximum and minimum sodium temperatures were 750°C (1388°F) and 150°C (303°F = cold trap temperature corresponding to 2 to 3 ppm oxygen content), respectively. The cold trap was part of the main circuit. The loop was built of steel 1.4571. The samples were made of steel 1.4571 or 1.4488. The metallographic investigated surfaces were exposed to sodium at temperatures of 500°C (933°F) to 750°C (1383°F) in the heated part of the loop. The comparison between experimental and analytical results shows that the model is able to predict most characteristics of the sodium austenitic corrosion. The analytical results are qualitatively correct and to a fairly good degree quantatively accurate as well. The accuracy of the model predictions depends primarily on the degree of knowledge of the factors determining the diffusion such as the sodium saturation limits and the diffusion coefficient of the individual stainless-steel elements in the corroding wall.

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