A low pressure superheated hydrogen steam system has been used to accelerate the oxidation kinetics while keeping the electrochemical conditions similar to those of the primary water in a pressurized water reactor. A special corrosion apparatus was built in cooperation with University of Manchester and Škoda JS for the purpose. The initiation is investigated using a Constant Extension Rate Test (CERT) with flat tapered specimens made from Type 316L austenitic stainless steel in the vapour environments at 350 °C. Two different surface finishes were used: as-ground and as-polished. Constant extension rate tests with a test rate of 2×10-6 ms-1 were performed on 4 specimens - at room temperature and at an elevated temperature of 350 °C and as a more oxidizing environment was chosen R = 1/6, on the contrary as a more reducing environment was chosen R = 6, where parameter R represents the ratio between the oxygen partial pressure at the Ni/NiO transition and the oxygen partial pressure. Post-test evaluation using SEM was applied.Keywords: Environmentally Assisted Cracking, hydrogenated steam, oxidation
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