Precipitation Strengthened Ni-Based Alloys for Liquid Salt Containment and Transport in Energy Systems

Default ARPA-E Project Image

OPEN 2021
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Project Term:
09/06/2022 - 09/05/2025

Technology Description:

Using a computationally-guided approach, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed carbide strengthened alloys in small laboratory-scale trials that show good resistance to corrosion by fluorides but with significantly improved strength and/or creep rupture life at temperatures up to 850°C compared with Hastelloy® N. The team proposes to identify a small subset of alloys, fabricate larger trials, measure salt resistance, and evaluate creep and irradiation resistance to enable alloy composition modifications, down-select the best alloy capable of meeting property requirements, and develop processing and welding techniques to fabricate components using this down-selected alloy. This project will decrease risks associated with new alloy development and significantly accelerate the timeline for commercialization of the structural alloy for use in high-efficiency MSR, FHR, and CSP systems.

Potential Impact:

Carbide-strengthened alloys will likely provide the proper combination of molten salt resistance, creep resistance, and irradiation resistance required for high-temperature FHRs and MSRs.


FHRs and MSRs can provide lower cost, high efficiency, large-scale electrical power due to their higher thermal efficiency, low pressure, passive safety, and the elimination of the requirement for safety-related offsite power or cooling water.


FHRs and MSRs can be used as a cost-effective process heat source for thermochemical hydrogen production that, when combined with biological sources of carbon, can result in carbon neutral gasoline. CSP systems can be used as a cost-effective, renewable power source.


FHRs and MSRs potentially have improved efficiency, economics, waste production, and water usage compared with water or helium cooled reactors and could potentially replace aging fossil-fueled power plants.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jenifer Shafer
Project Contact:
Steven Zinkle
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of Tennessee

Related Projects

Release Date: