The oxidation of AISI 316L(NG) stainless steel in simulated pressurised water reactor (PWR) coolant with or without addition of 1 ppm Zn at 280 °C for up to 96 h has been characterised in situ by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), both at the corrosion potential and under anodic polarisation up to 0.5 V vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE). Additional tests were performed in simulated PWR coolant with the addition of 0.01 M Na2B4O7 to exclude the effect of pH excursions probably due to Zn hydrolysis reactions. The thickness and in-depth composition of the oxide films formed at open circuit and at 0.5 V vs. RHE in the investigated electrolytes have been estimated from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) depth profiles. The kinetic and transport parameters characterising the oxide layer growth have been estimated using a calculational procedure based on the mixed conduction model for oxide films. Successful simulations of both the EIS and XPS data have been obtained. The parameter estimates are discussed in terms of the effect of Zn on the oxide layers on stainless steel in PWR conditions.
- stainless steel
- pressurised water reactor coolant
- oxide film growth
- zinc incorporation
- kinetic model