Degradation of stainless steel in contact with PbO-CaO-SiO2 slag at 1200 degrees C is experimentally investigated. The contact between steel and slag leads to the reduction of PbO from the slag to liquid Pb, and concurrent oxidation of the steel. The degradation mechanisms can be divided into liquid slag and liquid metal corrosion and oxidation. High Cr content is beneficial as it promotes the formation of a Cr2O3 scale which shields the steel from the slag and liquid Pb. The high solubility of Ni in liquid Pb is responsible for the increasing dissolution rate with increasing Ni content of the steel. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.