Novel Corrosion and Erosion Protective Amorphous Alloys Coatings

Period of Performance: 06/12/2017 - 03/11/2018


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

LM Group Holdings Inc.
20505 Crescent Bay Drive Array
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


Solar energy is the most potential renewable and sustainable energy source. To achieve high thermal-to-electric conversion efficiency and enable cost competitiveness with conventional methods of electric power generation, the next generation of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) systems is expected to operate at temperatures above 700°C. Molten chloride salts are identified as a highly promising heat transfer fluid and thermal energy storage media capable of operating between 550°C and 750°C. The high working temperatures and corrosive properties of these salts represent aggressive environments for CSP system components. In addition, molten chloride salts are the cheapest salts used for these applications. These molten salts introduce a set of technological and engineering challenges because of their very corrosive characteristics for typical materials. In the proposed project, LM Group Holdings, Inc. propose to develop and apply amorphous alloy coatings with high corrosion resistance that will be able to withstand severe environment under molten chloride salt conditions and improved surface characteristics for different parts of the molten salt systems such as impeller, sealant etc. to be able to operate these systems at temperatures above 700C. Amorphous metals are a novel class of materials that have a disordered, non-crystalline, glassy structure. Due to their unique microstructure, amorphous metals combine ultrahigh strength, high hardness and ductility in one single material. Amorphous Metals are more corrosion resistant compared to conventional metals due to the lack of long-range periodicity, related grain boundaries and crystal defects such as dislocations and their compositions. This proposed project will build on LMGH’s extensive prior experience with amorphous metals based coatings for different applications. It involves development, demonstration, and validation, of novel amorphous alloys based thermal sprayed coatings for CSP systems parts. LMGH along with ORNL will conduct preliminary testing to prove the high corrosion resistance and mechanical integrity of novel materials under molten chloride salts at temperature ranges from 550 to 750°C. Three different amorphous alloys based materials will be tested. The coatings’ quality will be analyzed based on mechanical and corrosion properties. The coating solution developed under this program would enable rapid adoption and wide-scale commercialization of CSP and Molten-Salt batteries which would effectively help the word transition from coal, oil and other fossil fuels to cleaner, more responsible renewable fuel. The scheduled projects under development for numerous solar thermal power plants using CSP technologies, as well as other projected major country entries in the CSP market, are indicative of market growth between now and 2019, at which time the market is expected to grow significantly at a CAGR of 60.2%, from $3 billion to nearly $25.8 billion