I have come across a difficult question and was wondering if anyone can point me to some literature. I have a 400 series corrugated thin plate (409 or 410, hard to tell with PMI due to sever scale) that has literally "burned up". I am trying to figure out if it is even possible for a stainless to "burn"?
I am familiar with thermite, which involves aluminum and rust Fe2O3 (or few other variants as oxidizers) which releases a serious amount of energy, but this is not an easy reaction to get going. On most experiments I did in my delinquent youth it involved very small piles of powder in chem lab experiments for show and tell days. Even then it was hard to get a "good one" for the 8th graders.
Can something similar happen with stainless oxidizing with something? I am not a chemist and have never heard of something like this happening.
For background, (sorry that I am vague, can't say much) this material was at the back end of a furnace. They noticed a fire and had trouble putting it out. Water didn't work and they were required to use a foam to put it out. At the end of the day was left with giant pile of what looks like melted and burned scale (was supposed to be 304 tubes with a 400 series thin plate)