Primary surface recuperators (PSR’s) for land-based industrial gas turbines are typically constructed from heat-resistant alloys such as austenitic stainless steels or nickel-base superalloys. The water vapor present in gas turbine exhaust has been shown to increase the rate of chromium oxide volatility, which in turn can cause rapid oxidation of the underlying metal. As PSR’s are generally fabricated from thin foil materials, excessive degradation can cause perforation, leading to failure of components. The results of an extensive laboratory test program to characterize the performance of heat-resistant alloys will be summarized, outlining the different modes of attack and means for their mitigation. These results will be compared to an investigation carried out using sub-size recuperator components which were exposed to a full-flow exhaust stream during gas turbine operation for times ranging from a few weeks to over one year.

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