A reactive force field approach to modeling corrosion of NiCr alloys in molten FLiNaK salts

Hamdy Arkoub, Swarit Dwivedi, Adri C.T. van Duin, Miaomiao Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interface between NiCr alloys and FLiNaK molten salt exhibits complex corrosion behavior, mainly driven by intricate chemical interactions involving Cr and Fions. Understanding these dynamic reactions is crucial for developing effective corrosion mitigation strategies to ensure the long-term durability of Ni-based alloy components in molten salt technologies. However, obtaining molecular-level understanding through experiments is challenging. To address this, we utilize reactive molecular dynamics simulations enabled by a reactive force field, ReaxFF, to investigate detailed reaction dynamics at the atomic level. We first present the development of the ReaxFF parameter set for Ni/Cr/F/Li/Na/K based on extensive first-principles calculations. With this force field, we achieve a strong agreement for the structure of FLiNaK molten salt by comparing the pair distribution functions with experimental and simulation results. Furthermore, our simulations successfully reproduce the experimental phenomenon of Cr dissolution in fluoride salt, with the corrosion rate depending on the alloy and salt compositions. Particularly, our simulations reveal that increasing the concentration of Li can enhance the formation of a compact double layer, mitigating Cr dissolution. This work enables a fundamental understanding of the interfacial behavior between fluoride salt and NiCr alloys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number159627
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - May 15 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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