A method of reducing the formation of electrically resistive scale on a an article comprising a silicon-containing ferritic stainless subjected to oxidizing conditions in service includes, prior to placing the article in service, subjecting the article to conditions under which silica, which includes silicon derived from the steel, forms on a surface of the steel. Optionally, at least a portion of the silica is removed from the surface to placing the article in service. A ferritic stainless steel alloy having a reduced tendency to form silica on at least a surface thereof also is provided. The steel includes a near-surface region that has been depleted of silicon relative to a remainder of the steel.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 Certain of the research leading to the present invention was funded by the United States government under Department of Energy Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-05NT42513. The United States may have certain rights in the invention.