M. Rudolphi, M. Schütze
Mechanical stresses imposed on protective oxide scales can lead to cracking and failure of the scale and consequently to a loss of the protective properties. Therefore, an assessment of the mechanical stability limits is of great interest. In this work, a new concept using defect based oxide scale stability diagrams to assess the mechanical stability limits is discussed. In contrast to mechanical failure diagrams proposed earlier, the presented model is based on physical defect size instead of scale thickness. Nickel oxide scales on high purity (99.99 %) nickel were thermally grown in dry and humidified synthetic air to provide a model oxide system. SEM investigations were carried out to examine the physical defect structure in the oxide scales and mechanical 4-point bend testing was used to measure the critical strain for through scale cracking. The data served for establishing a data base for the validation of the defect based scale failure model.