The alloys Haynes 230 and Inconel 617 are potential candidates for the intermediate heat exchangers (IHX) of (V)-HTR reactors. The behaviour under corrosion of these alloys by the (V)-HTR coolant (impure helium) is an important selection criterion because it defines the service life of these components. At high temperature, the Haynes 230 is likely to develop a chromium oxide on the surface. This layer protects from the exchanges with the surrounding medium and thus confers certain passivity on metal. At very high temperature, the initial microstructure made up of austenitic grains and coarse intra and intergranular M6C carbide grains rich in W will evolve. The M6C carbides remain and some M23C6 richer in Cr appear. Then, carbon can reduce the protective oxide layer. Then, the alloy loses its protective coating and can corrode quickly. Experimental investigations were performed on these nickel based alloys under an impure helium flow [1]. To predict the surface reactivity of chromium under impure helium, it is necessary to determine its chemical activity in a temperature range close to the operating conditions of the heat exchangers (T ≈ 1273 K). For that, high temperature mass spectrometry measurements coupled to multiple effusion Knudsen cells are carried out on several samples: Haynes 230, Inconel 617 and model alloys 1178, 1181, 1201. This coupling makes it possible thermodynamic equilibrium to be obtained between the vapour phase and the condensed phase of the sample. The measurement of the chromium ionic intensity (I) of the molecular beam resulting from a cell containing an alloy provides the values of partial pressure according to the temperature. This value is compared to that of the pure substance (Cr) at the same temperature. These calculations provide thermodynamic data characteristic of the chromium behaviour in these alloys. These activity results call into question those previously measured by Hilpert [2], largely used in the literature.

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