You are on page 1of 52

Training Program

Material Sciences Page 1

Version 07/97


Principles on learner's success

1. Use of materials in power plants

1.1 Steel
1.2 Ferritic and austenitic steels
1.3 Other materials

2. General characteristics of materials for components of thermal power plants

3. Behavior of materials under the influence of temperature and pressure

3.1 Dilatation
3.2 Strength

4. Influence of alloying elements on the characteristics of steel

5. Denomination of iron and steel

5.1 Systematic denomination as per DIN 17006
5.2 Denomination of steels according to their tensile strength
5.3 Denomination of steels according to chemical analysis
5.4 Denomination of cast materials
5.5 Material numbers as per DIN 17007

6. Power Plant sections and the respective adequate materials

7. Materials for special use

7.1 Some important non-ferrous materials
7.2 Other non-ferrous materials
7.3 Important alloys
7.4 Bearing metals
7.5 Materials for condenser pipes
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 2

Version 7/97

8. Corrosion and erosion

8.1 High-temperature corrosion
8.2 Low-temperature corrosion
8.3 Water corrosion
8.4 Erosion
8.5 Water and steam erosion

9. Surface protection
9.1 Different types of protective coating
9.2 Design measures
9.3 Choice of adequate materials
9.4 Operation measures

10. Synthetic materials

10.1 Raw materials for plastics
10.2 Classification of plastics
10.3 Characteristics of plastics
10.4 Use of plastics in power plants

11. Seals and packings

12. Insulation materials

12.1 Thermal insulation
12.2 Cold insulation
12.3 Acoustic insulation
12.4 Insulation against condensation water

13. Checkup questions

Training Program

Material Sciences Page 3

Version 7/97

Principles on learner's success

The instruction material on hand, "Material Sciences", part of the STEAG Training Program Power
Plant Engineering deals with the most important materials used in power plants. Particularly the
characteristics of those materials are discussed in this textbook which are used for making power
plant components exposed to high thermal and mechanical stress. Furthermore, special materials are
dealt with which are used in special fields of application.

This textbook serves the learner as basic material for studying the subject "Material Sciences".
Having worked through this document, the learner will know,

• what the difference between ferritic and austenitic materials is,

• which effect is exerted by the different alloying materials on the steel characteristics,
• which requirements must be fulfilled by a steel to be characterized as "heat-resistant"
• what "babbit metal" is,
• how corrosion resistance of steel is attained,
• which types of surface protection are differentiated,
• which types of plastics are available.

The degree of proficiency in this matter reached by the learner can be checked with the "Checkup
questions on learner's success" included at the end of the instruction material.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 4

Version 7/97

1. Use of materials in power plants

1.1 Steel

The most important material used in power plants is steel. Depending on the level of stress exposure
of a power plant component, i.e. exposure to pressure, temperature or wear stress, a steel grade is
selected which is adjusted to the specific type of stress.

Depending on the case of application, a distinction is made between

a) high-temperature resistant steels used for boilers, headers, superheaters, drums, pipework,
fittings and valves,

b) heat-resistant steels for supporting structures and hangers in elevated temperature areas,

c) high-temperature resistant turbine steels,

d) wear-resistant steels (e.g. crushers or coal mills), and

e) general structural steel for steel constructions.

1.2 Ferritic and austenitic steels

As all metals, iron and steel, too, take on a crystalline form, i.e. a the atoms arrange in a regular and
defined arrangement ("lattice"), while the metal cools down from the molten state.

In case of iron and steel, the smallest crystalline unit has a cubical shape. In the basic form of the
cube, the arrangement of atoms may differ depending on temperature and carbon content. At
temperatures below 911 °C or 723 °C (depending on the carbon content) steels have a cubic body-
centered lattice, i.e. there is an iron (Fe) atom at each edge of the cube and in its center; they are
referred to as "ferritic" steels. Above these temperatures, the atomic lattice is cubic face-centered;
in this case, the cubes have iron atoms at each corner and in each face; they are referred to as
"austenitic" steels.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 5

Version 7/97

Austenitic steels, which are preferable for some application cases in power plants, e.g. against
corrosion and at high temperatures, get their specific microstructure at low temperatures only if
certain alloying elements are added, for instance nickel. They are non-magnetic and have a greater
coefficient of expansion than ferritic steels.

1.3 Other materials

Apart from steel, various non-ferrous metals are also used for certain fields of application (cf.
chapter 7). More recently, synthetic materials have also increasingly been used (cf. chapter 10).

2. General characteristics of materials for components of thermal power plants

While for structural steels the mechanical strength properties, for example, are valid up to
temperatures of approximately 100°C, the power plant components under pressure and carrying hot
water or superheated steam have to show sufficient strength properties also at operation
temperatures. Hence, these types of steel primarily require an increased high-temperature strength
and, additionally, in case of higher temperatures, a sufficient scaling resistance. In addition, often
they have to show improved corrosion resistance.

We have to emphasize the effect of molybdenum which, particularly in the temperature range above
400°C, considerably improves the high-temperature resistance compared to other alloying elements.
This is also the reason why almost all high-temperature resistance steels for use at elevated
temperatures include molybdenum (Table 1).

Apart from high-temperature resistance, scaling resistance also ranks among the most important

The steels used today in power plant construction are first of all selected according to the criteria of
high-temperature resistance and scaling resistance. Working properties and in particular suitability
for welding are further criteria which may considerably influence the use of steel types. Among
these criteria there is also the requirement that changes in the properties of the steel in the course of
operation must not essentially affect operational safety and availability.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 6

Version 7/97

Fig. 1 shows a comparison of the mechanical strength of high-temperature resistant ferritic steels
used today for pipes and headers. X20CrMoV 12 11 shows the highest temperature resistance. That
is the reason why this steel is used in the area of the highest superheated steam temperatures
permitted for ferritic steels.

Figure 1 High-temperature resistant ferritic steels for pipes and headers

Βϑ/2 ⋅ 105 h (average value)

long-time creep resistance

y i el d s
t rengt h
el ev at e at
d t em p
erat ure

14 Mo V6 3

19 Mn 5

17 Mn 4
St 45.8 X 20 Cr Mo V12 1

17 Mn 4
19 Mn 5

St 35.8

15 Mo 3

St 35.8/St 45.8

13 Cr Mo 4 4 10 Cr Mo 9 10


For explanation of denomination, see chapter 5.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 7

Version 7/97

Table 1 shows that for the individual plant parts as well as for different fields of application
different types of steel can be taken into consideration.

Table 1. High-temperature resistant steels for the construction of steam generators and pipe systems

denomination denomination feedwater drum steam steam header super-

according to according to DIN entry pipe generator generator heated
DIN 17 007 17 006 system plates pipes steam
1.0305* St 35.8 + + + +
1.0345 HI + +
1.0405 St 45.8 + + + +
1.0425 H II + +
1.0435 H III +
1.0445 H IV +
1.0845* 19 Mn 5 + +
1.8817 17 MnMoV 6 4 + + +
1.6311 20 MnMo 4 5 + + +
1.5415* 15 Mo 3 + + + + +
1.8807 13 Mn NiMo 54 + + +
1.6368 15 NiCuMoNb 5 + + +
1.7335* 13 CrMo 4 4 + + + + +
1.7380 10 CrMo 9 10 + + + +
1.7715* 14 MoV 6 3 + + +
1.4922* X 20 CrMoV 12 1 + + +
1.4961 X 8 CrNiNb 16 13 + + +
1.4981 X 8 CrNiMoNb 16 16 + + +
1.4988 X8 CrNiMoVNb 16 13 + + +

* steel denomination according to German standards

Materials ranging from carbon steel to high-alloy steels can be used. Which steel is selected depends
on the maximum pressure and temperature stress that are expected (Table 2). This means, that in
case of a lower level of compressive stress the steels may be exposed to higher temperatures, up to a
certain point. For St 35.8 at 100 N/mm², the temperature stressing limit is 420 °C; at 50 N/mm²,
however, it is 470 °C. The situation is similar in case of the other steel types listed in Table 2.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 8

Version 7/97

Table 2: Examples of some correspondences between German and American steel types used for power plant

Denomination Denomination American Range of yield strength

according to DIN according to DIN denomination at elevated temperature in °C
17 007 17 006 under tensile stress
100 N/mm² 50 N/mm²
1.0305 St 35.8 A 179 420 470
1.0405 St 45.8 B 106 420 470
1.7335 13 CrMo 44 A 213 515 550
1.7380 10 CrMo 9 10 A 335 525 570
1.7715 14 MoV 6 3 A 405 540 580
1.4919 X 6 CrNiMo 17 13 TP 316 H (AISI) 615 670

Below a tube-wall temperature of about 450 °C, carbon steels have generally
sufficient mechanical strength properties. At temperatures exceeding this value,
steels have to be used that are alloyed with molybdenum, chrome, manganese,
nickel, tungsten and/or vanadium as well as niobium.

Heat-resistant steels

Such steels are referred to as "heat-resistant" which  apart from an increased scaling resistance at
temperatures above 550 °C  still show sufficiently good mechanical properties at operating
temperatures exceeding this value. Moreover, these steels should show sufficiently good working
properties; they should be suitable for welding and insusceptible to changes in temperatures as well
as sufficiently corrosion-resistant. Such steels are used for non-cooled plant parts, such as hangers,
fins and studs.

Tried and tested also are nickel-based alloys (alloys of 50% Ni with chrome and iron) for non-
cooled parts (suspensions), particularly in oil-fired plants. The required properties are created by
adding silicone, aluminum, titanium and nickel by alloying.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 9

Version 7/97

3. Behavior of material under the influence of temperature and pressure

3.1 Dilatation

All materials expand under the influence of rising temperature. This is true in particular for the
water and steam pipes employed in power plants. This dilatation occurs in longitudinal direction as
well as in the direction of the diameter. Both kinds of dilatation are to be taken into account in
designing and operating the plants. The magnitude of the thermal expansion depends on the
temperature and on the alloying elements.

3.2 Strength

In case of 10 CrMo 9 10, the rupture strength decreases from 500 °C to 550 °C by about half (Figure

During operation of the plant it is necessary to reach and maintain the operating temperature.
Certain fluctuations are inevitable. However, in order to avoid exceeding the strength properties by
overstress, certain gradients are to be observed. If these gradients are not observed, the effect on the
material is like a shock, referred to as "thermal shock". Depending on the intensity of the thermal
shock, the maximum operating time is shortened, due to aging of the material. The same applies to
operating times at excess temperatures compared to the design value.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 10

Version 7/97

4. Influence of alloying elements on the characteristics of steel

Adding certain alloying elements to pure iron permits the modification of the basic properties of the
iron in such a way that the steels can be given special characteristics adjusted to their specific fields
of application.

Commercially pure iron with a degree of purity of 99.9% Fe demonstrates the following mechanical
properties in normalizing-annealed condition and at a temperature of +20 °C:

ultimate tensile strength 216  275 N/mm²

lower tensile yield strength 88  137 N/mm²
failing strain 40  60 % (Lo = 5 do)2
notched bar impact toughness 186  314 J
lateral contraction 85  95 %
hardness (HB) 441  540 N/mm³
modulus of elasticity 1.9 x 105  2.2 x 105 N/mm

Pure iron of this quality is used in electrical components, chemical industry and as sinter material.
For technical purposes, iron is alloyed with other alloying elements so as to obtain defined
technological and physical properties, e.g. high-temperature resistance, hardness, toughness, wear
resistance, corrosion resistance, electrical resistance, etc.

The effect of the most important alloying elements can be summed up as follows:

Carbon  C

Among the alloying elements, carbon has a very special status, since it exerts the greatest influence
on the basic characteristics of steel, due to its concentration in the iron alloy.

The weldability of steel depends on the carbon content. Weldability deteriorates with increasing
carbon content, due to increasing hardness of the steel. Increasing carbon content reduces the
melting temperature and density of steel. It increases greatly the tensile yield strength and strength
(also heat-resistance). The elongation capability and toughness are reduced. Carbon is the main

Lo = initial length, do = initial diameter of a sample
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 11

Version 7/97

constituent for modifying the strength parameters and offers the possibility of hardening and

Aluminum  Al

This element is the deoxidizing agent most commonly used in steel production. It combines with the
nitrogen and reduces thus the susceptibility of steel to aging. In combination with chromium and
silicone, aluminum increases scaling resistance and is often used as a constituent of heat-resistant
steels. The temperature resistance of carbon steels can be improved by integrating aluminum into
the surface.

Chromium  Cr

Chromium increases the resistance of steel to corrosion and oxidation and the high-temperature
resistance; together with carbon it increases wear resistance. Tensile yield strength and ultimate
tensile strength are increased while the elongation capability is initially only slightly reduced. It
results in a great improvement of through-hardening and particularly in an improvement of scaling
resistance. Steels for use at temperatures in permanent operation of more than about 450 °C contain
chromium. Chromium concentrations higher than 13% cause a good corrosion resistance against
water, various acids and hot gases.

Copper  Cu

Copper is generally considered detrimental to steel. Concentrations exceeding 0.3% may result in
aging which increases the hardenability. However, concentrations of up to 0.5% considerably
improve the resistance of steel to the influence of weather. Copper lifts the tensile yield strength and
the ratio of yield point to tensile strength.

Manganese  Mn

Manganese combines with sulfur to form manganese sulfide and reduces thus the negative influence
of iron sulfide particularly in case of the high-sulfur easy-machining steels. The red shortness risk is
reduced. Manganese considerably increases the yield strength and the ultimate tensile strength of
structural steels, while the elongation is only slightly reduced. Steels with manganese contents
higher than 12% are austenitic and feature a better wear resistance.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 12

Version 7/97

Molybdenum  Mo

Molybdenum is generally used together with other alloying elements. Tensile yield strength and
strength, as well as high-temperature resistance and creep resistance are increased. Corrosion
resistance of chromium steels and austenitic chromium-nickel steels is considerably increased. High
molybdenum concentrations reduce the susceptibility to pitting. All steels used in power plant
construction for temperatures of use exceeding 350 °C contain molybdenum.

Nickel  Ni

Nickel permits the production of austenitic steels and improves hardening-through and corrosion
resistance. Nickel greatly increases strength, tensile yield strength and toughness of structural steels.
Nickel is an indispensable alloying element for high-temperature resistant materials. A high nickel
content by itself results in a steel with low thermal expansion.

Niobium  Nb

Niobium strongly tends to forming carbides. It is used as a stabilizing agent, particularly in

austenitic, corrosion-resistant chromium-nickel steels. Moreover, niobium significantly increases
creep resistance and high-temperature resistance.

Phosphorous  P

Phosphorous is detrimental to steel. Although it slightly increases material strength, it greatly

reduces the notched-bar impact toughness. Susceptibility to brittle fracture by increased
phosphorous content is one of the reasons why Thomas steel has found only limited application. In
low-alloyed structural steels with carbon concentrations of about 0.1%, phosphorous increases the
strength and improves resistance to atmospheric corrosion, particularly in combination with copper.

Sulfur  S

Sulfur is very detrimental to steel. At temperatures of 800 °C and higher, high sulfur contents result
in material fracture. This risk is even increased by the effect of oxygen. Therefore, the sulfur is to be
combined with other elements, mainly manganese. Sulfur increases the risk of welding cracks. For
machining on automatic benches one uses steels featuring considerable sulfur concentrations (about
0.20% S).
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 13

Version 7/97

Silicon  Si

Due to its affinity to oxygen, silicon is an important deoxidizing agent widely used in steel
production. It increases strength and improves the resistance to oxidation. The elastic limit is greatly
lifted, which is favorable for spring steels (0.6 to 2.5% Si). The scaling resistance is decisively
influenced by silicon, so that silicon is added to all heat-resistant steels. Since silicon promotes the
formation of graphite, high-silicon tool steels are susceptible to black shortness. The great reduction
of electrical conductivity and thus of losses is the reason for use in transformer laminations
(0.4% Si). Si concentrations exceeding 0.35% deteriorate the hot forming capability and weldability.

Tantalum  Ta

The influence of tantalum is similar to that of niobium. Tantalum and niobium are generally used

Titanium  Ti

Titanium features a high affinity to oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and carbon and has thus a strong
deoxidizing effect. It strongly tends to form carbides and is therefore used in corrosion-resistant
steels; it is moreover used as stabilizing agent and as a grain refiner. Titanium increases the high-
temperature resistance. However, it strongly tends to segregation.

Vanadium  V

Vanadium increases the capability of elongation, without reducing wear resistance and high-
temperature resistance. It reduces the sensitivity to overheating.

Tungsten  W

Tensile strength and yield strength are increased, while toughness is also increased. Tungsten
improves high-temperature resistance, wear resistance at high temperatures (up to red heat) and
improves the cutting performance. It exerts an influence on scaling resistance.

The mentioned influences apply to the individual element (table 3). It has to be taken into account,
that the desired material characteristics of certain steels are often attained only by combining several
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 14

Version 7/97

alloying elements, for instance molybdenum and chromium in case of high-temperature resistant

Table 3 Influence of the most important alloying elements on various material characteristics of steel

N P - I G N E H E A O
S P. R O G B L I N
I E N - A I T
C S A U P. S
E T. N G T

CARBON ++ + -- ++ ++ -- - -
MANGANESE ++ - + ++ + + +
SILICON ++ ++ - + ++ - +
NICKEL + - + ++ +
CHROMIUM ++ ++ ++ ++ - + ++ +
MOLYBDENUM + ++ ++ - + + - +
VANADIUM + ++ + + + +
TUNGSTEN + + - + + -
COPPER + -- + -- ++
PHOSPHOROUS + + - + - +

+ = increases ++= increases greatly - = reduces -- reduces greatly

Training Program

Material Sciences Page 15

Version 7/97

5. Denomination of iron and steel

5.1 Systematic denomination as per DIN 17 006

The standard DIN 17 006, "Iron and Steel, Systematic Denomination" (issue of 1949) contains
comprehensive stipulations as to the structure of short denominations of standardized materials,
allowing to recognize characteristic features of the materials.

The denomination is realized by an alphanumeric code which includes all characteristic information
about a steel's composition.

MRR S St373.6
That is: particularly killed-cast Siemens-Martin steel with a minimum tensile strength of
360 N/mm², quality rating 3, with guaranteed tensile yield strength and notched-bar impact
toughness. Since the type of casting and the guarantee values for tensile yield strength and notched-
bar impact are defined as per DIN 17 100, it is sufficient to write M ST 37-3. If the steel
denomination does not state any additional information, e.g. St 42-2., the types of melting and
casting can be freely chosen within the stated quality grade 2 according to DIN 17 100. This would
mean M or W or U or R.

The identification code allows also for identification by other aspects. According to DIN 17 155,
boiler plates, for instance are identified by means of the code letter "H" (HI  HIV, high-
performance boiler plate). Other designations can be gathered from the DIN sheets according to the
specific purpose of use.

5.2 Denomination of steels according to their tensile strength

In case of non-alloyed steels.

Code letter: "St" = steel (forged, rolled). This code letter is followed by the statement of the
minimum tensile strength (kp/mm²; it is planned to switch the dimensions given in the short names
to N/mm² for new editions of the respective DIN standards and steel/iron spec sheets)
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 16

Version 7/97


TU ST 37 = non-killed Thomas steel with 360 N/mm² (37 kp/mm²) minimum tensile strength

St 42.2 = structural steel, minimum tensile strength 410 N/mm² (42 kp/mm²), quality grade 2.
The as-delivered condition is stipulated according to DIN 17 100 (type of melting and
casting) if quality grade 2 is stated in the code.

St 35.4 = seamless, non-alloyed steel tube, subject to specific quality requirements; minimum
tensile strength 345 N/mm² (35 kp/mm²) as per DIN 1629 sheet 4 (4 = guarantee code
for tensile yield strength and bend-over test).

St 45.8 = seamless tube, minimum tensile strength 440 N/mm² (45 kp/mm²) and guaranteed
high-temperature resistance characteristics (8) according to DIN 17 175.

5.3 Denomination of steels according to chemical analysis

According to this classification, steel is classified into three types:

1. non-alloyed steels (also referred to as "unalloyed" and "plain" steels),

2. low-alloy steels, and
3. high-alloy steels.

5.3.1 Non-alloyed steels

According to European Norm 20-74, a steel is considered non-alloyed, if the following limits are
not exceeded, among others:
Si: 0.5% Cu: 0.40%
Mn: 1.6% P: 0.05%
Al: 0.1% S: 0.05%
Ti: 0.05%

Alloying elements must not be added. The carbon coefficient following the code letter "C" identifies
the mean carbon content in %x100.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 17

Version 7/97


C 15 = non-alloyed cementation steel with 0.15% carbon

C 45 = non-alloyed structural steel with 0.45% carbon
C 75 = non-alloyed tool steel with 0.75% carbon

5.3.2 Low-alloy steels

A steel is considered a low-alloy steel if the total concentration of alloying constituents does not
exceed 5%.

In case of low-alloy steels, the carbon code number is set first (without left-hand C symbol),
followed by the chemical symbols of the alloying constituents, in the order of declining percentage.
The alloying coefficients are arranged behind the symbol groups.

The average concentration of an alloying element in a steel in percent can be gathered by dividing
the alloying coefficient number by the multiplier for the respective element.

The multipliers for the individual alloying elements are stipulated as follows:

alloying elements: multiplier

Cr, Co, Mn, Ni, Si, W 4
Al, B, Be, Cu, Mo, Nb, Pb, Ta, Ti, V, Zr 10
C, Ce, P, S, N 100

13 CrMo 44

Carbon code alloying element symbols alloying coefficient

in % x 100 arranged according
average % desired to desired average % concentr.

This means, for 13 CrMo 4 4 (average concentrations)

Coefficient C 13 13/100 = 0.13 % C
Coefficient Cr 4 4/4 = 1.00 % Cr
Coefficient Mo 4 4/10 = 0.40 % Mo
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 18

Version 7/97

5.3.3 High-alloy steels

High-alloy steels, i.e. steels with a total concentration of alloying constituents in excess of 5% are
provided with the identification letter "X". The other aspects of coding are like in case of low-alloy
steels, however without a multiplier for the alloying coefficients; the multiplier for the carbon
coefficient, however remains 100. The data stated relates always to the average concentrations.


X 8 CrNiMoVNb 16 13
= highly high-temperature resistant austenitic steel with: C: 0.08%; Cr: 16%; Ni: 13%; no informa-
tion about the concentrations of Mo, V and Nb can be gathered from the material code.

X 20 CrMoV 12 1
= highly high-temperature resistant steel with: C: 0.20%; Cr: 12%; Mo: 1%; no information about
the concentration of V can be gathered from the material code.

5.4 Denomination of cast materials

The coding letters identifying cast material are separated by a hyphen from the designations

Coding letters for cast material:

G- = general casting
GS- = steel casting
GG- = gray cast iron
GGL = gray cast iron with flake graphite (lamellar graphite)
GGG = gray cast iron with spherulitic graphite (nodular graphite)
GH = chill casting
GT = general tempered casting
GTS = black tempered casting
GTW = white tempered casting
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 19

Version 7/97

For non-alloyed steels, the minimum tensile strength or the carbon coefficient are added right of the
cast material identifier.


GS-45 = non-alloyed steel casting with a tensile strength of at least 440 N/mm²
as per DIN 1681

GS-C 25 = non-alloyed, high-temperature resistant steel casting with 0.25% carbon

as per DIN 17 245

In case of low-alloy cast steel, the carbon and alloying coefficients and multipliers stipulated for
low-alloy steels are used.


GS-22 Mo 4 = low-alloy, high-temperature resistant steel casting with 0.22% C

and 0.4% Mo as per DIN 17 245

In case of high-alloy cast steel, the carbon and alloying coefficients stipulated for high-alloy steels
are used. For high-alloy steels, only cast steel is used, so that it is sufficient to use the code letter G
to identify the casting type.


G-X 22 CrMoV 12 1 = high-alloy, high-temperature resistant steel casting as per DIN 17 245
with: C: 0.22%; Cr: 12%; Mo: 1%; no information about the
concentration of V can be gathered from the code.

5.5 Material numbers as per DIN 17 007

The standard DIN 17 007, "Material numbers" (issue of 1959) meets the ever increasing demand for
an identification of materials by numbers to allow an analysis and evaluation of materials by
mechanical criteria.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 20

Version 7/97

For this purpose a systematic classification has been developed which allows to derive the material
number from the denomination as per DIN 17 006; the material number offers the same informative
content (DIN 17 007).

Material numbers are 7-digit. They are composed of:

n nnnn nn

1st digit  material main group

2nd through 5th digit  grade number

(chemical composition,

6th and 7th digit  additional numbers

(type of melting, casting,
treating conditions,
thermal/cold treatment)

Material main groups (skeleton categorization)

0 crude iron
1 steel

These two main groups include all materials in which iron (Fe) accounts for the greatest individual

2 and 3 cast non-ferrous metals

4 through 8 non-metallic materials

Grade number

The 4-digit grade number is composed of its first two digits stating the grade classes. They are
subdivided into
- bulk steel
- quality steel
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 21

Version 7/97

Within the group, a distinction is made by chemical composition and characteristic properties.

The 3rd and 4th digits is used as a counting number as per iron/steel list.

Additional numbers

They are only stated if necessary for an unambiguous identification. Therefore, usually the
additional numbers are dispensed with, primarily if the specifications are clearly stipulated by the
DIN standard.

The first number is used for identifying the type of melting and casting:
0 non-defined, insignificant
1 non-killed Thomas steel
2 killed Thomas steel
3 non-killed steel
4 killed steel
5 non-killed Siemens-Martin steel
6 killed Siemens-Martin steel
7 non-killed oxygen-refined steel
8 killed oxygen-refined steel
9 electric furnace steel

The second number is used for identifying the conditions of treatment:

0 no thermal treatment, any thermal treatment
1 normalized
2 soft-annealed
5 tempered
7 cold-formed

Example of denomination:
13 CrMo 4 4, Material number 1.7335
1 = steel
73 = CrMo steel with 0.35% Mo
35 = counting number, defined as per steel/iron list for a steel with
C: 0.100.18%; Si: 0.25%; Mn: 0.55%; Cr: 0.85%; Mo: 0.45%;
P and S: 0.04% each.
No information is provided about the types of melting and casting (i.e. additional numbers are
dispensed with), since these are stipulated by DIN 17 175.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 22

Version 7/97

6. Power plant sections and the respective adequate materials

Figure 2 indicates the types of material used in the different sections of a power plant.

Figure 2 Materials in a power plant

corrosion and erosion

turbine steels
on the flue gas side seals
insulating materials
flue gas white metals
high-temperature resistant
(surface protection) steels, unalloyed to
high-alloyed Generator
(insulating material) Cu, Al
wear-resistant seals and packings
lubricants and
governor power fluids
combustion air heat-resistant steels brass
condenser corrosion and erosion on
the cooling water side
HP-feedwater heater (unalloyed
and low-alloy steel)
dosing chemicals

lube oil
feedwater pump (sealings)
(steel) (habbit metals) (unalloyed steels) condensate
water treatment
LP-feedwater heater treatment

(steel, synthetic
material, rubber)

Economizer: unalloyed steels,

e.g. St 35.8 and St 45.8

Evaporator: unalloyed steels,

e.g. St 35.8 and 15 Mo 3

Superheater: low-alloy steel to high-alloy steels

e.g. 13 CrMo 4 4 and X 20 CrMoV 12 1.
10 CrMo 9 10 and X 20 CrMoV 12 1.
At temperatures above 600 °C:
high-alloy austenitic steels,
e.g. X8CrNiNb 16 13 and X6 Cr NiMo 17 13
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 23

Version 7/97

Drums: unalloyed to alloyed steels, depending on temperature range,

e.g. boiler plate H IV and 19 Mn 5

Headers: unalloyed to alloyed steels, depending on temperature range,

e.g. 17 Mn 4, 19 Mn 5, 10 CrMo 9 10

Turbines: The decision on steel types to be used for turbines is made mainly depending
on the stress they are exposed to during operation, i.e. depending on the
steam temperature and the steam pressure the parts are exposed to.

Other parameters influencing the chemical composition of the material may

be the size of the part piece, additional mechanical stress, effect of chemical
constituents of the steam. Hence it is impossible to give in this brochure a
complete overview of the variety of steels used for turbine construction.
Moreover, there is a constant development of steels for use in turbine
construction, much more than it is the case with steels for tubes or with the
heat-resistant steels.

Gas turbines: Concerning gas turbines, only the rotating blades and guide blades are made
of materials other than those used for steam turbines. The main reasons for
the use of other materials are higher temperature stressing of the material
and hence the higher strength values required. Thus it is not possible to use
one of the steel types discussed above, particularly not for the guide blades;
the pieces are mainly made of so-called nickel-base alloys. These are alloys
whose main constituent is nickel. These materials are (partly by adding
cobalt) highly oxidation-resistant (even at high temperatures they have
stable, sufficiently thin layers of scale) and highly creep-resistant.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 24

Version 7/97

7. Materials for special use

Apart from iron and iron alloys there is a variety of other metals and alloys that are important in
some areas. These metals, referred to as "non-ferrous metals", are dealt with in the following

7.1 Some important non-ferrous materials

7.1.1 Copper (Cu)

The significance of copper as material is based on its electrical conductivity (58 m/Ω mm²), its
thermal conductivity (394 J/smk) and its resistance to atmospheric influences, water, seawater and
weak acids.

The strength of copper materials depends on the type of fabrication: cast copper has a strength of
160 to 200 N/mm² at 15 to 27% expansion, rolled copper 210 to 240 N/mm² at up to 50%
expansion. However, mechanical strength decreases heavily with increasing temperatures, so that
copper is an inadequate material for superheated steam pipes. At temperatures of up to 100 °C a
tensile strength of 210 N/mm² can be assumed for annealed copper; per 20 K temperature increase,
the tensile strength decreases by about 10 N/mm².

The main importance of copper is the use of the material for electrical lines, heat exchangers, oil
pipes and as a constituent of alloys in brass and bearing metals.

7.1.2 Zinc (Zn)

Zinc is mainly used for fabrication of metal alloys and as corrosion protection in iron pipes
(sacrificial anodes).

7.1.3 Lead (Pb)

For its high corrosion-resistance to sulfuric acid, lead is used for protection against H²SO4 corrosion
(lead lining of chimneys), furthermore for fabrication of accumulators, radiation shielding against x-
rays and γ radiation, cable jackets and as a constituent of alloys in soft solders, white metals and die-
cast alloys. Lead is detrimental to health and must therefore be handled with special care.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 25

Version 7/97

7.1.4 Stibium (Sb)

Stibium is used as a constituent in white metal alloys in order to increase mechanical strength.

7.1.5 Aluminum

Despite its relatively low mechanical strength of 90 to 120 N/mm² at 2 to 8% expansion, aluminum
has a high significance as material, due to its low density of 2.7 kg/dm³, its resistance when exposed
to air (protective oxidation, Al O ), its good electrical conductivity of 35 m/Ω mm² and its thermal
² ³
conductivity of 229 J/s m K.

Even though electrical conductivity of aluminum reaches only 0.6 times the value of the
conductivity of copper, it has only half the density of copper. Since aluminum has the capacity to
reflect luminous and thermal radiation, it is also used for thermal insulation. To a lower extent,
aluminum is also employed as bearing metal (motor construction).

7.1.6 Titanium (Ti)

During the last years, titanium has gained an increasing significance as material for condenser pipes,
due to its good resistance under corrosive cooling water conditions.

7.1.7 Tin (Sn)

Tin is attached a high significance as bearing metal (bronze, white metal) and as soldering tin.

7.2 Other non-ferrous metals

Chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and nickel (Ni) are of great importance as
constituents in steel alloys. Manganese and nickel can furthermore be used as constituents in alloys
used for condenser and heat exchanger tubes; molybdenum in its basic form as molybdenum sulfide
is an important solid lubricant.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 26

Version 7/97

7.3 Important alloys

7.3.1 Brass

Brass includes mainly alloys of copper and zinc which contain at least 50% copper (Cu). If the
copper content is below 50%, the resulting alloys are not suitable for technical use. Brass with at
least 63% Cu can be molded in hot or cold state. Mechanical strength and toughness are
significantly increased by hot molding.

In order to increase certain properties (hardness, corrosion resistance), brass includes other alloying
constituents. For practical application in power plants, the alloyed high-strength brass types
So-Ms 71 (alloyed with tin) and So-Ms 76 (alloyed with aluminum) are important.

7.3.2 Bronzes

Bronzes are copper-tin alloys with a copper content of at least 78%. With increasing tin content (up
to 16%), strength and capacity of resistance to wear increase considerably. At a tin content below
10%, bronzes can be rolled and drawn cold; at higher tin contents they can be rolled and drawn in
hot state. Rolled bronze with 94% copper and 6% tin has in soft-annealed state a tensile strength of
390 to 490 N/mm², without having undergone annealing 640 to 740 N/mm². In special bronzes, tin
is partially replaced by other alloying constituents.

Aluminum bronzes contain up to approximately 13% Al and thus have a high degree of strength and
corrosion-resistance, particularly against seawater.

7.3.3 Red bronze (gunmetal)

Alloys of copper, tin and zinc, to which also lead is sometimes added, are called "red bronze" or

7.3.4 White metals (babbit metals)

White metals are alloys mainly of lead and tin, either with lead or with tin as the main constituent.
They are used as bearing metals for their good emergency running characteristics (turbine coasting-
down with damaged bearing).
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 27

Version 7/97

Instead of tin, frequently stibium is added by alloying, in order to increase hardness and strength.
Other alloying constituents of white metals may be copper, cadmium, arsenic and nickel.
Types of white metals that are significant for bearing shells are denominated according to
DIN 1703.

7.3.5 Solders

Solders are used to join two pieces made of the same or of different metals by another metal (the
solder). Thus, solders have lower melting points than the metals to be joined.

The soldering joints of the pieces must be metallic bright. Since the solder must adhere firmly, the
application of soldering fluid, solder paste or soldering flux is necessary (removal of the oxide film).

Soft solders are usually tin-lead alloys and melt at low temperatures up to about 300 °C. They are
used to join steel, copper, tin, zinc, lead and the corresponding alloys. Usually soldering fluid (an
aqueous solution of zinc chloride), soldering stone or hydrochloric acid are used as soldering flux.

Hard solders (brazing solders), usually brass solders, which have a melting point of up to 900 °C
show also higher values of strength. Borax (hydrated sodium borate) is used as soldering flux. After
cooling down, hard solders can be worked with a hammer. Other hard solders are copper solders,
silver solders and nickel-silver solders.

7.4 Bearing metals

Bearing metals (also referred to as babbitts, white metals), in particular those used for the bearings
exposed to the highest stress during power plant operation, the turbine bearings, are required to
show a high compressive strength and low wear, friction and temperature rise. Another important
demand made on bearing metals is the presence of emergency running characteristics, i.e. they have
to show a sufficiently high abrasion in case of failure of the lubrication, in order to avoid seizing.

Different alloys with slightly varying characteristics are used as bearing metals.

White metals: Good emergency running characteristics, sufficiently high values of strength
and good removal of the heat brought into the bearing through the shaft:
used for steam turbine bearings, for pumps and fans.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 28

Version 7/97

Gunmetal: High temperature and intermittent stress; small pumps.

Aluminum alloys: Highly resistant to stress but poor emergency running characteristics, used in
motor construction.

Bearing parts can either be cast or be fabricated by means of compacting pulverized metal or metal
alloys. Such sinter metals have good running characteristics due to the presence of pores which get
filled with oil, and they have very good emergency running characteristics due to easier abrasion.

7.5 Materials for condenser pipes

For choosing a material for condenser pipes, its thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance are
crucial. The cooling water available in a power plant is generally corrosive and polluted by
suspended matter. Thus in the condenser pipes, electrochemical processes and corrosion at deposits
may occur.

An overview of pipes made of copper and copper alloys is contained in DIN 1785.

Due to their good thermal conductivity and ductility during expansion by rolling, copper alloys are
preferred for the pipes. For non-corrosive cooling water, brass with a content of tin (So-Ms 71) can
be considered, and for corrosive cooling water, particularly for heat exchangers in naval operation
with seawater or brackish water, aluminous high-strength brass can be considered.

7.5.1 Special materials for condenser pipes

In Germany and in Europe, mainly the two types of high-strength brass CuZn 28 Sn and CuZn 28 Al
and - to a distinctly lower extent - arsenic copper CuAsP and the two copper-nickel alloys CuNi 30
Fe and CuNi 10 Fe are used. The "simple" brass type CuZn 30, once used quite frequently, is not
used any more. Recently, stainless steels have been used for condensers with good success.

Titanium and particularly high-alloy, stainless steels are referred to as "special materials", excelling
at corrosion and erosion resistance when exposed to seawater.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 29

Version 7/97 Stainless steels (corrosion-resistant steels)

The chemical composition and the mechanical properties of standardized, stainless steels are
stipulated in DIN 17 440. Preferably the following materials are used for condenser pipes:
X 5 CrNi 18 9
X 5 CrNiMo 18 10
X 5 CrNIMo 18 12
X 2 NiCrMoCu 25 20 5
X 3 CrNiMoTi 25 4 4.

Almost in every case, condenser pipes of stainless steels are welded with longitudinal seams. There
is no specific standard for this product. Supply specifications have to be agreed upon between the
client and the supplier.

Pipes made of stainless steel and with longitudinal seams are calibrated, and fabricated with the
weld seams smoothed and post-drawn, in order to keep the basis for deposits as low as possible and
to facilitate cleaning.

Apart from an eddy-current test in the welding seam, the leak-tightness of the pipes is to be tested
by means of the hydraulic pressure test (at least 50 bar) or the barometric pressure test under water
(at least 6 bar).

The pipes may be supplied bright-annealed or acid-cleaned. The surface condition is tested in the
same way as in case of copper alloys. The finished pipe shall be resistant to intergranular corrosion;
this is to be proved with a sample from every melt. Titanium

In Germany, the chemical composition of titanium is stipulated in DIN 17 850. Condenser pipes
made of titanium have preferably longitudinal welding seams. Supply specifications are agreed upon
between the client and the manufacturer. Shipment condition may either be annealed or non-

Eddy-current test, leak test and visual inspection are carried out in the same way as in case of
stainless steels. Also with titanium pipes, an ultrasonic test can be carried out. This test is already
made in addition to the eddy-current test by some manufacturers for their own safety.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 30

Version 7/97

8. Corrosion and erosion

Corrosion is the wear of material induced by chemical processes. They arise from the corrosive
attack of acid and salt solutions or of corrosive gases and fumes on metals. The most well-known
manifestation of such processes is the rusting of iron. Corrosion protection is of utmost economic
significance, since damage caused by corrosion runs into millions of dollars. Also issues of
environmental protection are closely connected to the problem of corrosion.

In power plants, we have to deal with the following types of corrosion:

- high-temperature corrosion,
- low-temperature corrosion,
- corrosion under stagnant conditions,
- corrosion on the cooling-water side.

Erosion is the mechanical removal of material caused by the influence of friction on surfaces , by
solid particles in flue gas and water as well as by water and steam with exceeding flow velocities.

In general, corrosion occurs together with slagging or fouling on the flue gas side. Slagging is the
formation of fusible deposits at furnace walls and convection heating surfaces which develop from
ash constituents into solid form. Fouling is the formation of deposits which are rooted in the
depositing of fine, solid flue gas constituents.

8.1 High-temperature corrosion

A variety of corrosion symptoms are summed up under the concept of "high-temperature corrosion"
which derive from gaseous, fusible and solid constituents of the flue gases. All of them are based on
decomposition or damage to the ferric-oxide layer which always covers the steel and which acts as a
protective film. Flue gas and tube-wall temperatures - and quite frequently also ash deposits - play a
crucial part in this process. Deposits which do not show any effect on the ferric-oxide layer or the
steel are merely to be considered as fouling.

Still today, high-temperature corrosion, slagging and fouling are responsible for a considerable share
of various types of operating trouble. This is true for fossil fuels as well as for waste and industrial
residues. According to the present state of knowledge a certain degree of corrosion is to be
considered inevitable. This is to be taken into account when the plants are designed.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 31

Version 7/97

8.1.1 High-temperature corrosion in bituminous coal-fired steam generators

The following are possible causes for corrosion on the flue-gas side in bituminous coal-fired steam

a) Corrosion in furnaces

- "secondary combustion" of coal or residual coke particles on heating surfaces corrodes steel,
accompanied by the formation of ferric chloride:
corrosion starting at a tube-wall temperature of approximately 280 °C;

- corrosion caused by chlorides (mostly hydrochloric acid) acting upon the tube material under the
condition of a local lack of oxygen in the flue gas:
corrosion starting at temperatures of approximately 300 °C;

The sulfur which can often be found in corrosive deposits on furnace tubes is a secondary product
and not - as it was assumed formerly - the cause of corrosion.

b) Corrosion on contact heating surfaces

- is caused if certain outer tube-wall temperatures are exceeded (starting with fluid temperatures of
540°C) and in case of arrangement in the hot flue gas areas (>900 to 1000 °C) as well as in case
of high local velocities of the flue gases;

- in case of an increased alkaline chloride content of the coal (mineralized carbon, >0.2% Cl);

- in case of insufficient cooling of superheaters and particularly reheaters and in case of excessive
flue gas temperature due to slagging of the radiant heating surfaces, a symptom of damage may
occur, which could be mistaken for corrosion. A closer analysis, however, shows that it is a
manifestation of scaling, e.g. the chosen material (e.g. 10 CrMo 9 10) is overstressed since the
actually reached tube-wall temperatures exceed the design values and thus the capabilities of the
chosen material. Only when the tube-wall temperatures are more highly exceeded (in case of
operational malfunction above temperatures of 600 °C) must possible corrosion caused by
molten salts (mainly sulfates) and SO³ be expected.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 32

Version 7/97

8.1.2 High-temperature corrosion in oil-fired steam generators

Mainly the following of the elements supposed to contribute to high-temperature corrosion are
contained in heavy fuel oil: vanadium, sodium and sulfur, and possibly also chlorine.

Formation of deposits, mainly caused by condensation of volatile ash constituents, is a prerequisite

for corrosion.

Fire-resistant parts or stones at the furnace bottom, at the burner bushings and at the vertical tubes
of the walls are more heavily corroded by oil ashes than by bituminous-coal ashes. "Acid" products,
i.e. these with a high SiO² content, are subject to heavier corrosion than "neutral" and "alkaline"
(e.g. with a high Al²O³ and/or MgO content).

In the area of the superheaters mainly surface corrosion arises, if wall temperatures of about 600 °C
are exceeded; in the alternation of melting and solidification or by catalytic formation of SO³,
oxygen is transferred to the tube walls and thus the steel of the tube walls is corroded by formation
of sulfides and oxides.

8.1.3 High-temperature corrosion in gas-fired steam generators

Fouling and corrosion in the high-temperature area of gas furnaces do not constitute a problem.
There is only the possibility of an increased formation of scale at the steam generator tubes, if "acid"
natural gas, i.e. natural gas with a high sulfur content (>0.5% S), is burned. In the near
stoichiometric combustion area the formation of sulfides cannot be ruled out, which, as a rule,
accelerate scaling.

8.2 Low-temperature corrosion

The concept of low-temperature corrosion includes such corrosive attacks by flue gas constituents
which arise in the temperature range of 200 °C and below, preferably at secondary heating surfaces
(feedwater and air heaters) and equipment (flue gas ducts, filter system, ID-fans, chimneys). Low-
temperature corrosion is caused by condensation of volatile acid constituents (sulfuric acid,
hydrochloric acid, etc.) together with water vapor from the flue gas.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 33

Version 7/97

Low-temperature corrosion is caused by the two physical-chemical phenomena occurring at

relatively cold surfaces, i.e. the "acid dew point" and the "water dew point". Occurrence of the dew
points results from the water and SO content of flue gas. Additional sources of moisture, such as
leaks at economizers and sootblower valves, may further increase the water vapor content.

8.2.1 Water vapor dew point and resulting corrosion

The water dew point is the temperature of the flue gas at a given pressure at which the gas is
saturated with water vapor, so that in case of cooling down below this temperature water
precipitates on the available surfaces. The water dew point of flue gas fluctuates depending on the
composition of fuel and air moisture. With bituminous-coal firing it is approximately 50 °C; in case
of waste-firing, about 60 °C. Due to other constituents present in the flue gas, it is not pure water
that condenses but an acid condensate with a highly corrosive effect, in particular caused by the
formation of sulfuric acid.

5.2.2 Acid dew point and resulting corrosion

Acid dew point (also referred to as "flue gas dew point") is the temperature at which the sulfuric
acid vapor of the flue gas, formed at around 600 °C from H²O and SO³, precipitates as liquid
sulfuric acid on the surfaces. Also in this case it is a prerequisite that the flue gas is cooled down
below this temperature. The dew point of the flue gas is increased significantly if small amounts of
sulfuric acid vapor or SO³ are present in the flue gas: a content of 0.003 Vol.% of sulfuric acid in
the flue gas increases the dew point by about 100 °C.

Precipitation of liquid sulfuric acid occurs when the flue gas is cooled down to a temperature below
approximately 180 °C. The acid dew point is not a steady temperature, but it depends on the sulfur
content of the fuel, firing rate control, air surplus and on the other constituents of the flue gas and
the dwell time of the flue gas in the boiler.

Around the dew point temperature, the condensed sulfuric acid is highly concentrated and is thus is
hardly corrosive at the beginning. Only when the wall temperature of the heating surfaces drops
further below the dew point temperature, by about 10 to 30 °C, does the acid, then a little more
diluted, cause heavy corrosion. If temperature continues to drop, also the corrosive capability of the
sulfuric acid will decrease with the entailed dilution of the acid.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 34

Version 7/97

Usually the level of the SO content in the flue gas, which causes formation of sulfuric acid, already
indicates the extent of corrosion that can be expected.

Plant parts that are subject to low-temperature corrosion are - due to their low surface temperatures -
mainly: feedwater preheaters, air heaters, flue gas ducts, dust control systems, metal sheet casings,
ID-systems and chimney.

8.3 Water corrosion

8.3.1 Cooling water corrosion

Under certain conditions corrosion can occur at the condenser pipes, on the condensate-side (caused
by NH³ and/or CO²) as well as on the cooling-water side. For the power plant operator the
knowledge of the cooling-water side corrosion is important: it can quite frequently cause cooling
water leakage into the condensate which can result in hardness penetration in case of absence of a
condensate treatment system.

8.3.2 Damage to pipes on the steam condensate side Corrosion caused by ammonia

Zones that are poorly admitted with condensate, in which non-condensable gases accumulate,
cannot be avoided in the condenser. This means a "subcooling" of the condensate film on the
surface of these pipe zones. This results in an enrichment of the condensate with ammonia.

In case of high ammonia concentration and presence of oxygen (a low oxygen content is already
sufficient), copper and brass are decomposed and eroded.

The risk of ammonia corrosion in the condenser, particularly in the area of the air extraction is
higher as the ammonia concentration in the water/steam cycle provided by the mode of operation
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 35

Version 7/97

1. If the mode of operation is not to be changed, installation of ammonia-resistant materials, e.g.
stainless steel or titanium.

2. Change of the mode of operation to non-alkaline, i.e. feedwater pH 9 to 9.5, but combined mode
of operation, hence the material needs not to be changed.

3. Pipes made of copper-nickel 30, stainless steel or titanium are employed in the problem zones. Corrosion caused by carbon dioxide

In special plants (e.g. seawater evaporators, evaporators in sugar mills etc.) damage to heat-
exchanger tubes can be caused by exposure to carbon dioxide. Development and symptoms of this
type of corrosion are similar to those of ammonia.

8.3.3 Damage to pipes on the cooling water side Ventilating cells

Admission of oxygen to the metal surface can have a varying intensity and velocity in case of
locally varying compositions of the coating. From this, different potentials result and local cells
emerge. Those points where oxygen is admitted more easily become cathodes where the oxygen is
reduced. The ventilating element can develop progressively pitted areas.

The following causes may result in the formation of ventilating cells:

- uneven formation of the protective or surface layer,

- uneven deposit of dirt,
- development of bacterial flora or foreign particles.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 36

Version 7/97 Pitted areas

Causes: unfavorable or changed composition of the water (chlorides, hardness, precipitations), state
of the pipes at delivery (residues from agents used for drawing), insufficient formation of protective
layer, stagnant conditions and deposits at insufficient water velocity, and insufficient water purity.

Dangerous formation of pitted areas underneath of spots in case of copper (entailing e.g. HCl
production). The starting moment of the development of pitted areas cannot be forecast.

8.4 Erosion

8.4.1 Erosion caused by flue gas particles, coals and ashes

Erosion (mechanical removal of material) can arise at places where solid particles hit softer material
at a high speed or are moved over softer material. The intensity of erosion depends on the hardness
of the particles, the wear resistance of the material and the velocity of the particles.

Throats and deflections in the flue gas path of bituminous-coal and lignite fired furnaces are
exposed to erosion, particularly if the fuel contains sand. Erosion is also possible in coal and ash
pipes and in hoppers.

As countermeasures, hard facings and surface protection by wear-resistant material or synthetic

material cladding as well as by mineral materials, e.g. fusion-cast basalt, can be considered.

8.4.2 Erosion caused by water

Locally high levels of moisture in the flue gas flow at a high drift velocity can cause increased
erosion of material at the pipe surface. Similar processes take place at the edges of the back turbine
blade ring.

Effective countermeasures are the installation of baffle plates or flashings, design changes to greater
wall thickness or changing the pipe materials.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 37

Version 7/97

8.5 Water and steam erosion

8.5.1 Erosion-corrosion in turbine condensers

By turbulence, erosion-corrosion prevents the concentration of metal ions that is necessary for the
formation of a protective layer. Gas bubbles and matters with an abrasive effect increase this effect
considerably. The corrosion products are continuously swept away. It is a characteristic of erosion-
corrosion that the pits do not contain any corrosion products. Quite frequently, the pits occur in a
horseshoe shape.

Exceeding the maximum water velocity recommended for the different pipe materials can result in

Disturbance occurs particularly at the water intake side of the pipes. In this case it can be put aright
by inserting synthetic sleeves or strong, full-cover synthetic covers over the condenser pipe bottom.
Inadmissible water velocities may also arise in individual pipes at local points of constriction of the
cross-section by foreign particles.

In order to avoid erosion-corrosion, in principle a design of the water chambers that is favorable
with regard to hydraulics is desirable, and a far-reaching precipitation of solid matter by means of
screens, sieves or filters is required.

A sufficient ventilation of the water chambers is necessary in case of open-circuit cooling as well as
in case of closed-circuit cooling.

8.5.2 Erosion-corrosion in the wet steam.

In - feedwater.
- wet steam and
- superheat steam admitted components,

flow velocities occur, which under unfavorable operating conditions, e.g. during commissioning,
may cause serious damage by erosion-corrosion. The intense local erosion of material, which may
reach a depth of several mm, can result in tube wall rupture in a short period of time and thus affect
safety and availability of the plants.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 38

Version 7/97

9. Surface protection

There are several possibilities to protect the surfaces of power plant components exposed to erosion
and corrosion:

1. by protective coatings,
2. by suitable design measures,
3. by selecting suitable materials,
4. by operation measures.

9.1 Different types of protective coating

A variety of materials in the form of coatings is tried and tested for protection against erosion and
corrosion. The protective effect of the coatings that can be achieved depends on a good adhesion on
the bottom layer, even thickness and tightness of the surface.

Surface protection, however, necessary not only in the water-admitted areas, but also elsewhere,

fusion-cast basalt pulverized coal pipes

ash pipes and ducts

synthetic material hopper linings

metallic coatings e.g. plating of the inner surface of feedwater deaerators and
feedwater tanks

non-metallic coatings enameling of flue-gas side air heater plates, burnishing,


high-wear surface protection application of Stellite (hard-facing)

Training Program

Material Sciences Page 39

Version 7/97

Stellite is an alloy based on

- 50% cobalt
depending on the type
- 27% chrome
- 12% tungsten
- 2.5% carbon
- rest: silicon

If a special wear-resistance at high temperatures up to red heat is required, the part pieces are hard-
faced with Stellite at the points exposed to the highest stress. For this, the alloy is dropped in a thin
layer on the prepared surface of a valve spindle or on the base and the cone of a control fitting by
means of a gas flame. So, even complicated shapes can be treated without difficulties. A smooth
surface is obtained by grinding afterwards with special grinding disks.

Repair intervals are significantly extended and the service life prolonged. A heat treatment of the
armored part pieces must not be carried out, since "annealing" does not influence the texture and
"quenching" causes cracks.

9.2 Design measures

It is possible to avoid high-temperature corrosion by design measures to a large extent, by choosing

a suitable configuration of the different superheaters and by coordinating the superheated steam
temperature and the materials used for the superheaters, as well as taking into consideration the
composition of the fuels.

It is important to avoid contact of the flames with the heating surfaces, and to make sure that the
combustion process is completed when the area of the gases enter the area of the convection heating

Simultaneously occurring erosions that increase corrosion by entrainment of fugitive dust can be
reduced by engineering measures taking into account fluid dynamics, aimed at reducing the flue gas
velocity or steadying the flue gas flow, such as installation of guiding partitions etc.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 40

Version 7/97

Suitable measures against low-temperature corrosion are:

- flue gas temperatures above the acid dew point and suitable high temperatures of the cold heating
surfaces of air heater and economizer by connecting steam-heated air heaters ahead and/or
mixing the cold air taken in with hot air,

- insulation of the outer surface of metal sheet ducts etc.,

- avoiding thermal bridges,

- keeping the flue gas side clear of deposits and in particular hygroscopic deposits, by means of

- keeping the boiler hot during longer downtimes.

9.3 Choice of adequate material

The selection of suitable materials is the basic prerequisite for reaching an undamaged material
surface, i.e. for each of the operating maximum stress situations the right materials have to be

DIN 17 155, DIN 17 175 and the Steel/Iron Material Data Sheet 470-600 list heat-resistant and
high-temperature resistant steels for all requirements.

9.4 Operation measures

By proper conduct, the operating staff as well can contribute to the protection of the materials,
particularly of the surfaces.

- Firing:
tube surfaces shall not be touched by the flames;
avoiding reducing atmosphere;
avoiding coarse grain by milling as well as monitoring by classifiers.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 41

Version 7/97

- Flue gas air preheating:

connecting steam or hot-water heated air preheaters upstream;
adding hot air in order to avoid temperature drop below dew point.

10. Synthetic materials

In many fields of technology, synthetic materials (plastics) have gained general acceptance and
proven their worth. Apart from metallic materials, plastics too play an important role in the power
plant sector. For a variety of advantages over other materials, many plastics have gained acceptance
for specific uses:

• some have a low specific weight,

• some are rot-proof and corrosion-resistant to atmospheric influences,
• some have a high resistance to acid and alkaline solutions,
• special protective covering, coating, lining can be dispensed with,
• some are easy to form, easy use of serial production parts,
• space-saving design is possible,
• option to select between various different types of plastic, adjusted to the purpose,
• constant quality through use of materials suitable for specific component.

10.1 Raw materials for plastics

The term "synthetic materials" (also referred to as "synthetics" or "plastics") covers all "organic"
materials produced by chemical conversion of natural raw materials. For this purpose, mainly the
natural materials oil and natural gas are used; also important are bituminous coal tars, natural
rubber, wood pulp, vegetable oils and vegetable protein.

Synthetics are composed of large molecules (macromolecules) which consist mainly of carbon and
hydrogen. For this reason, they rank among the group of chemical substances referred to as
"hydrocarbons". Natural materials are processed to synthetics by the petrochemical industry. Here
and in the subsequent manufacturing industry, the desired composition and material properties are
obtained by adding other elements, such as chlorine, flourine, oxygen and sulfur. Production of the
final products requires usually the linking or cross-linking of the macromolecules.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 42

Version 7/97

10.2 Classification of plastics

Plastics can be divided according to their material properties (or roughly by their process of
production) into three groups:

1. thermoplastics (TP)
2. thermosetting plastics (TSP)
3. elastomeric plastics

10.2.1 Thermoplastics

Thermoplastics can repeatedly be softened to plastic flow and they solidify while cooling down.
This permits deformation or welding of the material. Polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP),
polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and polystyrene (PS) are thermoplastics.

10.2.2 Thermosetting plastics

Thermosetting plastics can, upon completion of their synthesis, no longer be softened or liquefied.
Therefore, they are cast into molds or machined to attain the desired shape. Unsaturated polyester
resins (UP), phenol-formaldehyde resins (PF), epoxy resins and bakelite are thermosetting plastics.

10.2.3 Elastomeric plastics

Elastomeric plastics exhibit a rubber-flexible behavior. Their hardness is determined by the quantity
of interstitial alien atoms, e.g. sulfur atoms in the interstices between the macromolecules. Soft
rubber, for instance, contains 1% - 5% sulfur; hard rubber contains 15% - 30% sulfur.

10.3 Characteristics of plastics

10.3.1 Tensile strength

The tensile strength of pure plastics is relatively low, compared with the tensile strength of metallic
materials. Only by reinforcing plastics by embedding reinforcing fibers (e.g. glass fibers) is it
possible to attain a strength comparable to that of steels. However, the values are valid only for
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 43

Version 7/97

temperatures below about 50 °C. Another advantage is the relatively abrupt drop in strength as the
duration of stress exposure gets longer.

10.3.2 Conductivity

Owing to their poor thermal and electrical conductivity, plastics are good insulators. Equally, they
are good acoustic insulators.

10.3.3 Corrosion resistance

Plastics exhibit a good corrosion resistance to aqueous solutions of salts, acids and alkaline
substances, but they are corroded by organic solvents and solutions. Metals, in turn, are resistant to
organic solvents and solutions.

10.3.4 Aging

Particularly at higher temperatures, some plastics change under the influence of oxygen contained in
the air and become brittle, i.e. they are subject to aging. Aging of plastics is furthered by the
presence of copper in the solution.

10.3.5 Sliding properties

Owing to their relatively good sliding properties, certain plastics can be used as bearing shells, or as
cladding e.g. in coal hoppers.

10.3.6 Inflammability

An important practical disadvantage is the inflammability of plastics and the consequential release
of poisonous and sometimes corrosive gases (e.g. HCl  release of hydrochloric acid as a result of
combustion of PVC).
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 44

Version 7/97

10.4 Use of plastics in power plants

10.4.1 Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene shows a high resistance to chemicals of various types. PE is practically insoluble in

any solvents at temperatures below 40 °C. If exposed to water, alkaline solutions, solutions of salts
and inorganic acids (except for the strongly oxidizing acids) at temperatures of up to 40 °C, PE
behaves completely indifferent. Despite chemical resistance, shaped parts of PE sometimes tend to
stress crack formation. Stress cracks may occur if PE is exposed to polar liquids, such as alcohols,
organic acids, esters, ketones and simultaneously to stress, particularly tensile or bending stress.

UV absorbers added increase the capability of absorbing UV radiation and prolong thus the service
life of PE parts exposed to sunlight. PE can only be welded.

Temperature resistance: -50 °C to +75 °C

Load limit: PE soft 60 to 130 kg/cm²
PE hard 110 to 200 kg/cm²

10.4.2 Polypropylene (PP)

The polypropylene production process is similar to that of PE. Compared with PE, PP excels at high
values for the following parameters:

• yield stress
• hardness
• modulus of elasticity
• heat shape stability

PP is inferior to PE in cold impact resistance. PP with filling material may exhibit particular
mechanical and thermal properties. On contact with polar fluids, e.g. alcohols, esters and some
hydrocarbons, PE exhibits a greater tendency to swelling than PE. PP may be glued or welded.

Temperature resistance: -20 °C to +110 °C

Load limit: up to 500 kg/cm²
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 45

Version 7/97

10.4.4 Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

Polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as "Teflon" is a thermoplastic. It can only be glued.

Temperature resistance: -100 °C to +320 °C

Load limit: 140 to 315 kg/cm²

10.4.5 Polystyrene (PS)

Styrene polymers are a group of plastics which are preferably used in cooling tower construction.
Common to all styrene-based polymers is the high resistance against aqueous fluids, such as
solutions of salts, diluted acid and alkaline solutions. Cracks may form in styrene polymer parts
under the influence of external or internal stress if the part is simultaneously exposed to a chemical

The UV radiation in sunlight has a detrimental effect; the detrimental effect manifests itself through
the gradual change in appearance (surface becomes yellowish, faint) as well as through a gradual
deterioration of mechanical strength. Similar to PE, the best thing to do is to stabilize PS against UV
radiation by means of soot.

10.4.6 Unsaturated polyester resins (UP)

These are thermosetting molding compounds of phenol-formaldehyde resins combined with various
reinforcing materials. The mechanical and thermal properties of the different types are mainly
determined by the type of reinforcing material used, inorganic or organic, grain-type or fiber -type.
The pieces, compression-molded or injection-molded exhibit  depending on the type and form of
reinforcing materials  a good surface hardness, hot working capability and good chemical
resistance. They are generally hardly inflammable.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 46

Version 7/97

11. Seals and packings

Depending on whether the surfaces to be sealed are stationary (e.g. flange seals) or in motion (e.g.
shaft gland packing) one can differentiate between seals at stationary and moving equipment parts.
Stationary seals are (except for a very few exceptions) always contact seals. In case of seals for
moving equipment parts, in addition to contact seals (i.e. seals with a mutual contact between the
sealing surfaces, possible with a sealing lubricant in between), also contactless seals are possible. In
the latter ones, the interstice has a determined, defined size.

11.1 Basic materials used for seals and packings

11.1.1 Asbestos

In the past, asbestos was the basic material used for the majority of seals in power plants. Due to the
asbestos being detrimental to health, asbestos-containing materials have been replaced more and
more by asbestos-free ones in order to avoid health risks, and because proper disposal of asbestos is
rather expensive.

11.1.2 Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

Known under the generic term "PTFE", this material is outstandingly resistant against all external
attacks. In its application temperature range between -200 °C and +200 °C, it is resistant against all
acids, alkaline solutions, solvents, other liquids and gases. Only molten alkali metals and some
fluorine compounds corrode PTFE at high temperatures and high pressures.

Attention should be drawn to the excellent sliding properties and the low break-away torque of
PTFE, which is favorable particularly if used in contact seals for moving equipment parts.

PTFE dispersions are used in braided packings for waterproofing of gossamer-like material; PTFE
silk is used to make braidings and fabric.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 47

Version 7/97

11.1.3 Graphite (carbon)

Graphite is a very useful material as a dry lubricant and filler, particularly in braided packings.
Graphite has a layer-like crystalline structure and can therefore be split up and ground into
microparticles (flakes). The graphite used for sealing purposes is extracted from natural deposits. It
is resistant to air and higher temperatures.

Over the last years, braided packings of graphite fibers have been increasingly used; they exhibit a
high resistance to all types of solutions, even at higher temperatures.

11.1.4 Miscellaneous materials

The materials described above, i.e. asbestos, PTFE and graphite are used in varying combinations
and form the basis of almost all sealing elements (braided packings, gland packings, flat gaskets) in
today's power plants. In specific cases, however, other tested materials, such as soft metals, natural
rubber, synthetic rubber, leather, cork, cotton fibers, felt, paper and cardboard, may also be used.
These materials are also used in various combinations among each other and with asbestos, PTFE
and graphite.

11.2 Seals and gaskets

11.2.1 Flat gaskets, joint gaskets

Today's common practice in power plant construction to joint both HP pipes and LP pipes together
by welding has greatly reduced the use of traditional flat gaskets at least in this field.

The flat gaskets that normally come in the shape of plates, contain, in addition to the components
asbestos and special rubber, also additives as binders and to fill up pores. The quality of the
individual substances used exerts an important influence on the quality of the gaskets.

From the alignment of the fibers in the course of the production process result different fracture
strengths in the longitudinal and transverse directions. Cruciform-doubled plates are therefore used
to meet high strength requirements. For this, two plates are pressed together, with their fiber
directions crossed, or an asbestos-graphite mixture is rolled into a very tight steel wire mesh. In
selecting such "It-plates", pressure, temperature, fluid properties and flange design have to be taken
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 48

Version 7/97

into account. The higher the pressure, the thinner must the gasket be and the more precise must the
sealing face be machined in order to avoid erosion. The thicknesses of It-plates commonly used in
power plants range from 1 mm to 2 mm.

A gasket which has adapted over the operating time to the surface of the sealing face can not be
reused, since its form-changing capability is exhausted.

11.3 Packings

11.3.1 Kneadable packings

Malleable materials for kneadable packings are produced in various basic forms:

a) as long asbestos fibers with graphite water-proofing,

b) as flake-like graphite material with a lead additive, and
c) as PTFE flakes.

Kneadable packings are almost exclusively used for sealing of valve spindles. A suitable packing
ring is used as a base ring and to cover the packing. In packing, an absolutely even stuffing has to be
ensured and the material has to be firmly packed additionally by tightening the gland.

11.3.2 Braided packings

Braided packings normally consist of a substrate (i.e. a base substance) and one of various possible
water-proofing substances. The substrate gossamer-like material consists of fibers, such as PTFE,
cotton, hemp, carbon, or of combinations of these materials among each other and with metal wires.

Regarding impregnation, a distinction is made between the two main groups "dry impregnation" and
"grease impregnation". In dry impregnations, the water-proofing effect is attained by various rubber
or plastic impregnating agents which should contain a relatively high share of dry lubricants, such as
graphite, PTFE and molybdenum sulfide (MoS2). In grease impregnations, which have to be
adjusted to the chemical and thermal requirements, rape-oil and cylinder oil should be mentioned
here just as two examples.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 49

Version 7/97

Regarding braiding types, the two classical types, i.e. plaid and concentric braiding are generally
known (Figure 3).

Figure 3 Braided packings

plait concentric braiding triple tread quadruple tread

diagonal braiding diagonal braiding

12. Insulating materials

Use of insulating materials may be necessary for various reasons and purposes, and the type of
material selected must match up with the purpose. An insulating effect may be attained by materials
of two main material groups, i.e.

a) organic insulating materials, and

b) inorganic insulating materials.

For their low operating temperatures (polystyrene up to 70 °C, cork 150 °C), organic insulating
materials play only a secondary role. Mainly inorganic insulating materials are used which are
composed of various silicates.

In power plants, there are four main fields of application:

Training Program

Material Sciences Page 50

Version 7/97

1. acoustic insulation
2. insulation against condensation water
3. cold insulation
4. thermal insulation

12.1 Thermal insulation

The most important field of application of insulating materials is thermal insulation, which is to
prevent heat loss, particularly in the boiler section, e.g. from superheated steam pipes and hot water
pipes. The insulating effect is attained by using such materials which exhibit a low thermal
conductivity and make additionally use of the even lower conductivity of air (if air is prevented
from circulating) by accommodating air in pores or hollow spaces.

12.2 Cold insulation

Cold insulation is necessary if the temperature of the transferred medium is lower than the ambient
temperature and if heat exchange must be avoided. Mainly organic insulating materials are used for
cold insulation, e.g. in the form of shaped cork parts or shaped foamed synthetic resin parts

12.3 Acoustic insulation

Acoustic insulation serves to prevent noise emitted from mechanical equipment from being
transferred to the ambient, i.e. to avoid noise pollution. The insulating effect is mainly attained by
using porous plastics (polystyrene) featuring a low sound propagation capability.

12.4 Insulation against condensation water

Condensation water occurs if warm ambient air cools down at a colder surface and the temperature
falls below the water dew point. To avoid formation of condensation water, normally injected
crushed-cork insulation is applied. The material used for this type of insulation consists of crushed
cork with organic binders and chemical additives to avoid mould formation. The material is
resistant to temperatures of up to 120 °C.

In the high-temperature area of the boiler refractory setting, baked insulating bricks are used.
Diatomite, clay and opening materials are used as raw materials for baked insulating bricks.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 51

Version 7/97

Diatomite is a deposit of very porous siliceous skeletons of extremely small maritime creatures
mixed with small quantities of clay; diatomite with greater concentrations of clay and thus with a
higher densitiy and thermal conductivity is also used. Since diatomite is a very expensive material,
sometimes insulating bricks consisting of a porous baked clay are used. The porosity is attained by
adding sawdust or cork to the clay which burns during baking and leaves thus pores. Solidification
of the baked insulating bricks is the result of the sintering processes occurring during the baking

For thermal insulation in power plants, mainly synthetic mineral-fiber materials are used. According
to the raw materials used, we differentiate between glass wool (fibrous glass), mineral wool (made
of unmolten, fibrous, natural rock) and slag wool (fibrous blast-furnace slag). The bulk density of
glass and mineral wools range from 100 to 125 kg/m³; bulk density of slag wools is between 150
and 220 kg/m³. The application temperature range of glass wool extends up to 600 °C, of slag wool
up to 500 °C, and of mineral wool up to 700 °C.
Training Program

Material Sciences Page 52

Version 7/97

13. Checkup questions

1. What is austenitic steel?

2. What is, basically, the influence of high temperature on material properties of steel?

3. Which steels are characterized as "heat-resistant"?

4. How is it possible to avoid temperature shocks along with the consequential abnormally high
stress levels during operation?

5. State the influence of the following alloying elements in steel alloys:

a) aluminum
b) chromium
c) nickel

6. Where in the power plant are brass pipes normally used?

7. What is the name of the metal alloy that is used in sliding bearings to attain good emergency
running characteristics. What constituents does this alloy consist of?

8. What is the difference between "corrosion" and "erosion"?

9. What is low-temperature corrosion?

10. Which points in a piping system are particularly susceptible to erosion?

11. Name at least two possible actions for surface protection of component materials.

12. In which main group are "organic" materials ranked?

13. Name at least three fields of application of insulating materials.

14. How is the insulating effect of thermal insulating material attained?

15. Into which groups are plastics categorized?

16. Which material is used more and more rarely because of its health-damaging effect?