Corrosion Resistance of Alumina-Forming Alloys Against Molten Chlorides for Energy Production. I: Pre-Oxidation Treatment and Isothermal Corrosion Tests

Judith Vidal, Robert Tirawat, Craig Turchi, A. Fernandez, W. Huddleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Advanced components in next-generation concentrating solar power (CSP) applications will require advanced heat-transfer fluids and thermal-storage materials that work from about 550 °C to at least 720 °C, for integration with advanced power-conversion systems. To reach the cost target, less-expensive salts such as molten chlorides have been identified as high-temperature fluid candidates. High-strength alloys need to be identified and their mechanical and chemical degradation must be minimized to be used in CSP applications. Approaches for corrosion mitigation need to be investigated and optimized to drive down corrosion rates to acceptable levels—in the order of tens of micrometers per year—for achieving a long system lifetime of at least 30 years. Surface passivation is a good corrosion mitigation approach because the alloy could then be exposed to both the liquid and the vapor phases of the salt mixture. In this investigation, we pre-oxidized the alumina-forming alloys Inconel 702, Haynes 224, and Kanthal APMT at different temperatures, dwelling times, and atmospheres to produce the passivation by forming protective oxides at the surface. The pretreated alloys were later corroded in molten MgCl2 – 64.41 wt% KCl at 700 °C in a flowing Ar atmosphere. We performed electrochemical techniques such as open-circuit potential followed by a potentiodynamic polarization sweep and conventional long-term weight-change tests to down-select the best-performing alloy and pre-oxidation conditions. The best corrosion results were obtained for In702 pre-oxidized in zero air at 1050 °C for 4 h. Metallographic characterization of the pre-oxidized alloys and of the corroded surfaces showed that the formation of dense and uniform alumina scale during the pre-oxidation appears to protect the alloy from attack by molten chloride.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)222-233
Number of pages12
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Volume166
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-66778

Keywords

  • Alumina
  • Alumina-forming alloys
  • Chlorides
  • Corrosion
  • Molten salts
  • Oxidation

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