A new class of corrosion- and creep-resistant austenitic stainless steels has been developed for advanced recuperator applications. The Al and Cr contents have been optimized to maintain a fully austenitic composition for creep strength while allowing the formation of a highly-protective external alumina scale at temperatures up to 900°C in the presence of water vapor. Strengthening was achieved via the formation of stable nano-scale MC type carbides and creep properties were comparable to commercially available advanced austenitic stainless steel alloys. These properties are particularly well-suited for thin-walled recuperators for both small and large gas turbines and fuel cells. By forming an alumina scale, long-term problems with Cr evaporation in the presence of water vapor in the exhaust gas are eliminated. Laboratory data are presented from humid air and microturbine exhaust gas to illustrate the oxidation resistance of this class of alloys at 650°–900°C and compared to results for some current commercial alloys. Alloy development is continuing in order to determine the effect of composition on performance over this temperature range.

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