Modeling and simulation of stress-induced non-uniform oxide scale growth during high-temperature oxidation of metallic alloys.
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The metallic alloys employed in oxidizing environment at high temperature rely on the development of a protective oxide scale to sustain the long-term aggressive exposition. However, the oxide scale growth is most of the time coupled with stress and morphological developments limiting its lifetime and then jeopardizing the metallic component reliability. In this study, a mechanism of local stress effect on the oxidation kinetics at the metal/oxide interface is investigated. The objective is to improve the understanding on the possible interactions between stress generation and non-uniform oxide scale growth, which might result in a precipitated mechanical failure of the system. Two different oxides are studied, alumina and chromia, in two different industrial systems, thermal barrier coatings and solid oxide fuel cell interconnects. A specific thermodynamic treatment of local oxide phase growth coupled with stress generation is developed. The formulation is completed with a phenomenological macroscopic framework and a numerical simulation tool is developed allowing for realistic analyses. Two practical situations are simulated and analyzed, concerning an SOFC interconnect and a thermal barrier coating system, for which oxide scale growth and associated stress and morphological developments are critical. The consequence of the non-uniform oxide growth on the system resistance to mechanical failure is investigated. Finally, the influences of material-related properties are studied, providing optimization directions for the design of metallic alloys which would improve the mechanical lifetime of the considered systems.