The oxidation mechanism of Fe-5Cr-15Ni-2Si-4.5Mo alloy was investigated in order to determine the role of Si and Mo in providing oxidation resistance. It was determined that the oxidation protection in the temperature range 750-950 degrees C resulted from formation of a continuous oxide sublayer of SiO2 (or possibly Fe2 SiO4).Molybdenum formed an intermetallic Fe2 Mo 1-x Si x that eventually diffused out into the grain boundaries and formed a protective barrier to the oxidation process. The mechanism behind the improved oxidation is the formation of a SiO2 layer at the metal-oxide interface that retards the outward diffusion of Fe. It was also established that the oxidation mechanism was controlled by an activation energy equal to that of Fe3+ ions diffusing through SiO2.
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