Effects of foreign object damage on fatigue behavior of two metallic materials used in a concentrating solar power plant

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Structural stability and performance of structural materials is important for energy production, whether renewable or non renewable, to have uninterrupted energy supply, that is economically feasible and safe. High temperature

Structural stability and performance of structural materials is important for energy production, whether renewable or non renewable, to have uninterrupted energy supply, that is economically feasible and safe. High temperature metallic materials used in the turbines of AORA, an Israel-based clean energy producer, often experience high temperature, high stress and foreign object damage (FOD). In this study, efforts were made to study the effects of FOD on the fatigue life of these materials and to understand their failure mechanisms. The foreign objects/debris recovered by AORA were characterized using Powder X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) to identify composition and phases. To perform foreign object damage experiment a gas gun was built and results of XRD and EDS were used to select particles to mimic FOD in lab experiments for two materials of interest to AORA: Hastelloy X and SS 347. Electron Backscattering Diffraction, hardness and tensile tests were also performed to characterize microstructure and mechanical properties. Fatigue tests using at high temperature were performed on dog bone samples with and without FOD and the fracture surfaces and well as the regions affected by FOD were analyzed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to understand the failure mechanism. The findings of these study indicate that FOD is causing multiple secondary cracks at and around the impact sites, which can potentially grow to coalesce and remove pieces of material, and the multisite damage could also lead to lower fatigue lives, despite the fact that the FOD site was not always the most favorable for initiation of the fatal fatigue crack. It was also seen by the effect of FOD on fatigue life that SS 347 is more susceptible to FOD than Hastelloy X.