Effect of temperature and dissolved hydrogen on oxide films formed on Ni and Alloy 182 in simulated PWR water

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Alloy 182 is a nickel-based weld metal, which is susceptible to stress corrosion cracking in PWR primary water. It shows a peak in SCC susceptibility at a certain temperature and hydrogen concentration. This peak is related to the electrochemical condition where the Ni to NiO transition takes place. One hypothesis is that the oxide layer at this condition is not properly developed and so the material is not optimally protected against SCC. Therefore the oxide layer formed on Alloy 182 is investigated as a function of the dissolved hydrogen concentration and temperature around this Ni/NiO transition. Exposure tests were performed with Alloy 182 and Ni coupons in a PWR environment at temperatures between 300 C and 345 C and dissolved hydrogen concentration between 5 and 35 cc (STP)H2/kg. Post-test analysis of the formed oxide layers were carried out by SEM, EDS and XPS. The exposure tests with Ni coupons showed that the Ni/NiO transition curve is at a higher temperature than the curve based on thermodynamic calculations. The exposure tests with Alloy 182 showed that oxide layers were present at all temperatures, but that the morphology changed from spinel crystals to needle like oxides when the Ni/NiO transition curve was approached. Oxide layers were present below the Ni/NiO transition curve i.e. when the Ni couponwas still free of oxides. In addition an evolved slip dissolution model was proposed that could explain the observed experimental results and the peak in SCC susceptibility for Ni-based alloys around the Ni/NiO transition.


Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Pages (from-to)208-291
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2016


  • Nickel, Alloy 182, High temperature aqueous corrosion, Passive films, Welding

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