The goal of the claddings research project is to develop corrosion-resistant coatings and liners (referred to as ‘claddings’) for structural materials for use in fuel dissolved molten salt environment for future Molten Salt Reactors (MSR). Corrosion testing will be performed in molten FLiBe and FLiNaK salts. The substrate for this study is 316 H Stainless Steel, which is ASME Sec III Div 5 codified and therefore already being considered as the leading metallic material for MSR components by the reactor designers.
The claddings will be:
- Subjected to rigorous mechanical testing, including thermal cycling and flexural four-point bend tests to ensure mechanical integrity of the interface.
- Evaluated for radiation damage resistance given that MSR structural materials will be subjected to significant neutron fluxes.
- Tested in a scoping study of weldability.
- Tested in 750° C molten fluoride salts for up to 2000 hours to determine corrosion performance, with Chromium dissolution being one of the main metrics for corrosion resistance in structural materials.
- Characterized thoroughly using modern microscopy techniques.
Innovative, but industrially scalable surface cladding approaches are proposed yielding promising surface and interfacial compositions however the processes themselves are commercial and have high Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), and consequently would greatly facilitate the accelerated development of MSRs.