Follow-up Project „Materials Testing under Operating Conditions“ from the Joint Research Programme KOMET 650

Project Number 251

For the highest process parameters (700/720 °C, 375 bar), the development of high temperature resistant, corrosion resistant materials for components of the steam generator, the steam turbine and the pipework is absolutely essential. This work includes the verification of their strength properties, establishing processing methods, in particular the (dissimilar) welds. This is only possible through the near-real testing of components made in the new materials.

As part of the previous project 183, a test rig was integrated into Unit B of the Westfalen power plant of RWE Power AG, in which both boiler tubes and thick wall pipes are in use at higher temperatures. Various ferrites, austenites and a nickel-based alloy have been used as the materials in order to investigate their behaviour with regard to high temperature corrosion, oxidation on the flue gas and steam side and also creep. The installation also has a test section in which advanced steam turbine materials, various ferritic and austenitic materials and coating materials are tested at steam temperatures up to 650 °C to ascertain their oxidation resistance. The operating behaviour and new-style concepts for valves at steam temperatures up to 650 °C are investigated.

The regular component and material tests, carried out during the previous project, have already provided information on the possible uses of the materials tested. Extensive material data concerning the materials used have also been collected. In order to be able to make a suitable choice of materials for components exposed to high temperatures in future power plants with these data, the investigation results required from the follow-up project are extremely important, because the results are only adequately viable if the field tests runs for a suitable time. Extending the operating hours of the pilot plant also provides an opportunity to test other materials and add new evaluation methods to the investigation programme.

Conducting the follow-up project guarantees full tapping of the potential offered by the test rig over the entire life cycle and also a systematic evaluation of the data following the completion of the trial operation. Therefore, the project makes an important contribution to German and European efforts to increase the efficiency of power plants.