I based my thoughts on the belief that oxidation was occurring during the heating processes. I found this paper which explained my initial thought. Hey... I learned something that I was confused on... That's good.
"Oxygen is consumed during the initial burn that creates the Oxide "Shell". Once the coating is there the chromium is protected from further oxidation so the answer becomes no. Though the amount of oxygen that it consumes will be negligible under normal circumstances.
"Most heating elements use Nichrome 80/20 (80% nickel, 20% chromium) wire, ribbon, or strip. Nichrome 80/20 is an ideal material, because it has relatively high resistance and forms an adherent layer of chromium oxide when it is heated for the first time. Material beneath the wire will not oxidize, preventing the wire from breaking or burning out. "
"So the first time when it creates the oxide coating, yes it will consume oxygen to create the Chromium Oxide. After the initial coating the metal resists oxidation, so it should consume little if any oxygen unless the oxide coating is removed."
Thanks for sticking with me on this... we all need to learn and learning is a good thing!