Date of Award
Master of Science
The research is aimed to evaluate thermal spray coatings to address material issues in supercritical and ultra-supercritical Rankine cycles. The primary purpose of the research is to test, evaluate, and eventually implement a coating to improve corrosion resistance and increase efficiency of coal fired power plants. The research is performed as part of a comprehensive project to evaluate the ability of titanium, titanium carbide, or titanium diboride powders to provide fireside corrosion resistance in supercritical and ultra-supercritical steam boilers, specifically, coal driven boilers in Illinois that must utilize high sulfur and high chlorine content coal.  The powder coatings that were tested are nano-sized titanium carbide (TiC) and titanium di-boride (TiB2) powders that were synthesized by a patented process at Southern Illinois University. The powders were then sent to Gas Technology Institute in Chicago to coat steel coupons by HVOF (High Velocity Oxy-Fuel) thermal spray technique. The powders were coated on an austenitic 304H stainless steel substrate which is commonly found in high temperature boilers, pipelines, and heat exchangers. The samples then went through various tests for various lengths of time under subcritical, supercritical, and ultra-supercritical conditions. The samples were examined using a scanning electron microscope and x-ray diffraction techniques to study microstructural changes and then determined which coating performed best.
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