Alloying with copper to reduce metal dusting of nickel

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Copper is thought to be noncatalytic to carbon deposition from gas atmospheres, and owing to its extremely low solubility for carbon, inert to the metal dusting reaction. Thus, the addition of copper to nickel, which forms a near perfect solid solution, may be able to suppress or greatly retard the metal dusting of the alloy, without the need for a protective oxide scale on the surface. The dusting behaviour of Ni-Cu alloys containing up to 50 wt% Cu, along with pure Cu, was investigated in a 68%CO-31%H2-1%H2O gas mixture (aC: 19) at 680°C for up to 150 h. Surface analysis showed that two types of carbon deposits, graphite particle clusters and filaments, were observed on pure Ni and Ni-Cu alloys with Cu contents of up to 5 wt%. Alloys with more than 10 wt% Cu showed very little coking, forming filaments only. SEM and TEM analyses revealed metal particles encapsulated by graphite shells within the graphite particle clusters, and metal particles at filament tips or embedded along their lengths. A kinetic investigation showed that alloy dusting rates decreased significantly with increasing copper levels up to 10 wt%. At copper concentrations of more than 20 wt%, the rate of metal dusting was negligible. Although pure copper is not catalytic to carbon formation, scattered carbon nanotubes were observed on its surface. The effect of copper on alloy dusting rates is attributed to a dilution effect. © 2005 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
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Zhang, Jianqiang
Cole, Daniel
Young, David
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UNSW Faculty