Modelling the oxidation of polycristalline austenitic stainless steels using a phase field approach coupled with mechanics

Abstract : Austenitic stainless steels and nickel based alloys are widely used for their mechanical properties at high temperatures.Their durability can be increased by the addition of chromium resulting in the formation of a protective oxide layer such as chromia (Cr2O3).Nevertheless, it is established from vacuum mechanical tests that oxidation significantly decreases their fatigue life.In fact, oxide growth can be followed with the injection of defects such as vacancies, deleterious chemical elements and residual stresses, etc., into the metal.The resulting cracking micromechanisms are therefore governed by complex interactions between the environment and the metal surface, implying the chemical composition and the microstructure of the metal.To date, materials life prediction is a necessity for the nuclear industry due to safety and economic issues.The enhancement of the model dimensionality allow to explicitly account for multi-physics interactions between oxide and metallic phases under mechanical loads.The thesis is in line with it and relies on the development of a phase field model coupled with mechanics that heavily relies on the principles of continuum thermodynamics.The effective behaviour of the interface is obtained by homogenisation methods allowing the mixture of separate behaviours, as it is the case on a ductile metallic substrate and its fragile oxide.Oxide growth residual stresses and mechanical load induced stresses can be relaxed by viscoplasticity, which is isotropic and anisotropic respectively for the oxide and the substrate.Full field finite element simulations are performed to study both generalised and intergranular oxidation under mechanical loads.The simulations highlight the possibility of triggering breakaway oxidation by the generation of tensile stresses in the fragile oxide, which can be localised along oxide intrusions at grain boundaries.
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Victor de Rancourt. Modelling the oxidation of polycristalline austenitic stainless steels using a phase field approach coupled with mechanics. Mechanics of materials [physics.class-ph]. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015ENMP0021⟩. ⟨tel-01253941⟩

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