Foam Core Structure for Protective Gas Film Formation in High-Power Mercury Spallation Targets
During the development of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, high-energy proton pulses were found to create high-intensity pressure pulses in the liquid mercury. In turn, these pulses damaged the mercury container due to the effect of cavitation damage erosion (CDE). Unless this CDE is stopped or significantly reduced, the SNS will not work as intended when it is operated at full power. This project will create a structure that supports a protective gas film to isolate the mercury from the container walls, thereby lessening or eliminating the harmful effects of the cavitation. The new structure will be based on the utilization of a material system that was previously developed for rocket thrust chambers. For this system, a structural, open-cell metal foam will be used as a multifunctional core Â¿ which will provide heat exchange, structural rigidity, and internal gas manifolding Â¿ and a permeable inner facesheet will support the evenly distributed protective gas layer.Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardeeThe proposed technology should enable the SNS to be run at full capacity and beyond, which will support substantial progress in materials science, medicine, and industrial technology research.
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