Heavy section austenitic stainless steel for the future high-efficient biomass-fired power plants.


Great Potential in Biomass as a Renewable Energy

Biomass is the largest global contributor to renewable energy. It is a sustainable fuel because it gives no net contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere and it can be considered endless. 

There is a global increase in energy consumption. There is also an increase in emissions of greenhouse gases (e.g. CO2), causing global warming. This, in turn, means that there is a need for an increase in energy production, and a reduction of greenhouse gas emission. One way to accomplish both needs, is to increase the efficiency of biomass-fired power plants.

An increase in efficiency could be reached by increasing temperature and pressure in the boiler sections and consequently in other components of the system. Thus, the requirement of more energy production is met. And there would be no net contribution of greenhouse gases.

Current Limitations

Increasing the efficiency of a biomass power plant is obtained mainly by increasing temperature and pressure. The material used will suffer from a tougher environment resulting in safety and reliability problems. So, in order to avoid material failure while increasing the efficiency, new material groups need to be explored as a substitute. Since the lifetime of a power plant is expected to be 30 years or more, materials with better long term high-temperature performances, as safety and structural integrity, are desirable. 

Advanced Austenitic Stainless Steel – a Possible Solution 

The heavy section materials in the future high-efficient biomass-fired power plants are required to display improved properties such as higher creep and fatigue strength and high-temperature steam oxidation resistance. Previous research has showed that advanced austenitic stainless steel materials (A-ASS) are promising candidates. 
However, more investigations are needed to verify that heavy section A-ASS materials have the sufficient safety and reliability.


This project is a continuation of the project “Influence of High-Temperature Environments on the Mechanical Behaviors of High-Temperature Austenitic Stainless Steels”. The current project builds on the results from the previous study, and takes the next step towards a sustainable energy production that is more efficient, cost-effective and flexible.

Aim and Objectives


The aim of this study is to verify the safety and reliability of heavy section Advanced Austenitic Stainless Steel (A-ASS) materials to be used as new potential better material for biomass-fired power plants.


  1. To evaluate thermo-mechanical fatigue properties of new materials for safety and life evaluation since the biomass-fired power plants can start/shutdown quite often during service for energy saving and flexibility purposes in the future.
  2. To evaluate the fatigue crack propagation behavior of new materials used in safety and reliability considerations since the heavy section material can undertake low cycle fatigue during the service. 
  3. To evaluate the creep resistance of new materials used in safety and reliability considerations since the material can undertake creep during the service.
  4. To evaluate the structure stability and the toughness of welded and aged material after long term service at high temperatures for safety analysis.
  5. To evaluate the new candidate material compared to currently used materials using FE-models of the applications.