High-temperature oxidation of steels can be relatively fast when exposed to air. Consequently, elucidating the effect of different parameters on the oxidation mechanism and kinetics is challenging. In this study, short-time oxidation was investigated to determine the oxidation mechanism, the affecting parameters, and the linear-to-parabolic growth transition of different Fe–Mn alloys in various oxygen partial pressures (10–30 kPa) and gas flow rates (26.6 and 53.3 sccm) in a temperature range of 950–1150 °C. Oxidation kinetics was investigated using a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) under controlled atmosphere. Linear oxide growth was observed within the first 20 minutes of oxidation. The linear rate constant was significantly increased by increasing the oxygen partial pressure or the flow rate of the oxidizing gas. The morphology of the oxide layer was determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The crystal structure of the oxides formed was followed by in-situ X-ray diffraction (XRD), confirming that the growing layer consists of wustite mainly, which upon slow cooling to room temperature, transformed into magnetite. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) showed that the atomic ratio of Fe+Mn to O was ~ 1.03:1 in the oxide scale, corresponding to Fe(Mn)O formation. Based on the characterization and a model for linear growth kinetics, it is concluded that the oxidation rate is controlled by the diffusion of oxidizing molecules through the gas layer to the sample’s surface. The findings led to a better understanding of initial oxidation behavior and provided a pathway for improved insight into the high-temperature oxidation behavior for more complex alloys.
- Gas phase diffusion