Noble, Jack E.; Hickman, Gary L.; Grobstein, Toni
The authors describe work performed as part of the 25-kWe advanced Stirling conversion system project. Liquid alkali metal compatibility is being assessed in an ongoing test program to evaluate candidate heater head materials and fabrication processes at the temperatures and operating conditions required for Stirling engines. Specific materials under evaluation are alloy 713LC, alloy 713LC coated with nickel aluminide, and Udimet 720, each in combination with Waspaloy. The tests were run at a constant 700 C. A eutectic alloy of sodium and potassium (NaK) was the working fluid. Titanium sheet in the system was shown to be an effective oxygen getter. Metallographic and microchemical examination of material surfaces, joints, and their interfaces revealed little or no corrosion after 1000 h. Tests are in progress, with up to 10,000 h exposure.