Priority Research Centre for

Metal Dusting

Metal dusting refers to the very rapid disintegration of iron and low alloy steels in a highly carburizing (carbon super-saturated) atmosphere at temperatures ranging from 400 to 750°C. Degradation of structural components by metal dusting is a major problem in chemical plants involved in the production of hydrogen, the synthesis of ammonia, the reforming of methanol and the production of syngas (hydrogen/carbon monoxide mixtures). In this research project we are undertaking a major computational and theoretical program to determine the detailed mechanisms occurring in the metal dusting of irons and low alloyed steels and, with this knowledge, to point the directions for designing new materials to withstand metal dusting.