Materials selection for thin-walled recuperators has been extensively investigated over the past decade. In the latest generation of recuperated turbine engines, type 347 stainless steel has been replaced by higher alloyed steels and Ni-base chromia-forming alloys. However, high (linear) rates of chromia evaporation in exhaust gas fundamentally limits the oxidation lifetime of these chromia-forming alloys. One solution is to use alumina-forming alloys that are more resistant to this environment. The lower scale growth kinetics and resistance to evaporation in the presence of water vapor suggests an order of magnitude increase in lifetime for alumina-forming alloys. A significant problem with this strategy was the large drop in creep strength with the addition of sufficient Al to form an external alumina scale. However, new Fe-base austenitic compositions have been developed with sufficient strength for this application above 700°C.

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