Room temperature plasticity in sub-micrometer thermally grown oxide scales

Conference Dates

October 1-6, 2017


Thermally grown oxides (TGOs) are generally considered to be brittle, capable of sustaining very limited plastic deformation before fracture. As they are prone to exhibit different forms of defects, the fracture toughness, typically measured to be some 1–2 MPa m1/2 [1], is typically reached well before sufficiently high stresses to induce plasticity can be applied [2]. This is particularly true at room temperature, where possible low-stress thermally activated creep mechanisms are suppressed. However, the occurrence of plasticity in e.g. Al2O3 single crystals at room temperature can occur for samples in the micrometer range [3]. Most measurements of the deformation of TGOs have been made on relatively thick scales, (>1 micrometer), which are limited by the fracture originating from inherent defects. Furthermore, the studies have been limited in resolution and sensitivity, as the scales were adherent to the substrates and tested as a composite. Recently, micro-mechanical testing has been introduced as a method to evaluate mechanical behavior of TGOs on a ferritic/martensitic steel [4], where micro-cantilever bending was used to test specimen extracted from different layers in a 5–10 micrometers thick oxide. Still, the cantilever cross-section was typically several micrometers, and the very similar fracture stresses for notched and un-notched cantilevers seems to indicate that the deformation is still limited by inherent defects.

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