Advanced Tungsten Structures for Plasma-Facing Components in Magnetic Confinement Fusion Energy Reactors
79191S The potential economic, environmental, and strategic benefits associated with the development of magnetic fusion energy (MFE) are numerous. However, fusion technology cannot be realized until advanced materials are developed that allow operation under the high heat flux conditions necessary for cost-competitive electric energy generation. In this project, innovative materials and material systems will be developed and demonstrated that will allow fusion energy systems to operate at heat flux levels greater than 15 MW/m2 and be capable of surviving brief excursions to 1 MJ/m2. Chemical vapor deposition/infiltration will be used to produce refractory materials and structures that cannot be fabricated by conventional processing techniques. In Phase I, an ultrahigh temperature heat exchanger, composed of a thin tungsten shell integrally bonded to an open-cell tungsten foam core, will be fabricated. Thermomechanical durability and heat transfer characteristics will be evaluated through modeling and testing. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The development of advanced materials, as well as innovative designs, should accelerate the development of nuclear fusion as a replacement for increasingly scarce fossil fuel energy sources. Fusion, with its low generation of radioactive waste, is ideal for large-scale energy production.
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