Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-13-2023


The United States Department of Energy seeks to improve the efficiency of concentrating solar power technologies by employing thermal energy storage with operating temperatures above 700°C. To meet these goals, the National Solar Thermal Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories has considered the use of a ternary molten chloride salt for sensible heat storage systems. While favored for low cost, good heat transfer properties, and stability at high temperature, ternary chloride salt also exhibits high corrosive attack. Components of a chloride salt storage system would include piping, valves, tanks, pumps, receivers, and heat exchangers, which would be exposed to high temperatures and an extremely corrosive environment. In this paper we identify several potential alloy candidates for constructing such components of a chloride salt system and review existing studies on corrosion. Then, we introduce a comprehensive primary research study at Sandia National Laboratories to evaluate the salt compatibility of these alloy candidates. Ultimately, this paper focuses on the findings for five of the most promising alloys for chloride salt component manufacturing.


Molten Salt, Chloride Salt, Corrosion, Nickel Alloys, Thermal Energy Storage

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Gowtham Mohan

Second Committee Member

Dr. Kenneth Armijo

Third Committee Member

Dr. Pankaj Kumar

Document Type