2009 Volume 49 Issue 12 Pages 1938-1944
Early-stage oxidation behavior in air of low-carbon steels with and without S and Mn additions was investigated in terms of oxidation kinetics and scale spallation in a temperature range of 900 to 1150°C. S and Mn did not appear to affect the growth rate of oxide scales within the given oxidation time, ~30 min, however it was found that S significantly enhanced oxide scale spallation. Scale spallation occurred only on the S doped steels oxidized at temperatures more than 1000°C when the thickness of oxide scale exceeded about 120 μm. This scale spallation was confirmed to occur during cooling after the given oxidation time. GD-OES analysis revealed that a significant amount of S enrichment occurred at the oxide/steel interface, which was around 1 mass% on 100 ppm S steel after 120 s of oxidation at 1150°C. Such sulfur enrichment was speculated to be due to accumulation of rejected S from surface recession during the high-temperature oxidation. Observation of the steel surface after complete removal of the oxide scale by quenching the steels into liquid nitrogen clearly indicates the formation of eutectic Fe–FeS structure at scale/steel interface, resulting from a liquid phase formation above 1000°C. Formation of sulfide, and therefore a liquid phase at higher temperature, greatly affected oxide scale spallation.