The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and ATI Allegheny-Ludlum began a collaborative program in 2004 to produce a wide range of commercial sheets and foils of the new AL20-25+Nb stainless alloy, specifically designed for advanced microturbine recuperator applications. There is a need for cost-effective sheets/foils with more performance and reliability at 650–750°C than 347 stainless steel, particularly for larger 200–250 kW microturbines. Phase I of this collaborative program produced the sheets and foils needed for manufacturing brazed plated-fin (BPF) aircells, while Phase II provided foils for primary surface (PS) aircells, and modified processing to change the microstructure of sheets and foils for improved creep-resistance. Phase I sheets and foils of AL20-25+Nb have much more creep-resistance than 347 steel at 700–750°C, and foils are slightly stronger than HR120 and HR230. Preliminary results for Phase II show nearly double the creep-rupture life of sheets at 750°C/100 MPa, with the first foils tested approaching the creep resistance of alloy 625 foils. AL20-25+Nb alloy foils are also now being tested in the ORNL Recuperator Test Facility.

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