The need for improved wear and abrasion resistant steels for components in advanced fossil energy conversion systems is described. Desirable combinations of mechanical properties for these components are enumerated. A critical component, coal feeders, in coal gasification plants requires adequate room temperature toughness and high strength at both room and moderately elevated temperatures. Through modification of both composition and heat treatment, it has been shown that commercial secondary hardening matrix steels are promising candidates for this application. It is further shown that improvements can be achieved by the synthesis of new secondary hardening steels. A key feature of the design of these steels is the suppression, by composition control, of solid-state tempering reactions that (in commercial secondary hardening steels) lead to inadequate toughness. In other components for advanced coal technology, hot strength is not required but hardness and impact strength are. Modified medium-alloy, ultra-high-strength steels are described with combinations of strength and toughness achievable only in the high-alloy (and expensive) maraging steels.
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