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Molten Salt

Last updated: August 3, 2018

What Does Molten Salt Mean?

Molten salt is a salt that tends to be a solid (under standard temperature and pressure conditions) but becomes a liquid at elevated temperatures. It has been widely used in industry for various applications such as power generation, material processing, heat transfer in industrial processes and many more. An important feature of molten salts is that they exhibit the ability to conduct electricity, which make them a suitable choice for use in generating electricity from renewable sources (such as solar) or from nuclear energy. Apart from the substantial advantages of molten salts in industry, they tend to contribute to general corrosion of infrastructure.


Corrosionpedia Explains Molten Salt

As molten salts have become a favorable and effective choice for generating electricity, molten salt technology has been flourishing. Molten salts serve as heat transfer agents in nuclear reactors and for that reason they are used as the coolant fluid in the reactor systems. Molten salts such as potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate and calcium nitrate have properties to absorb and store the heat energy that is released in water.

Molten salts are compatible with structural alloys. As a result, the possibility of oxidation of structural metal into corresponding fluorides and chlorides with a corresponding reduction of an oxidizing agent is always there. Since molten salts are ionic and good conductors of electricity, oxidation reactions (corrosion) will occur readily and the structural materials can undergo either uniform surface corrosion, galvanic corrosion, pitting corrosion or intergranular corrosion.


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