Textured Tungsten Armor Coating for Fusion Energy Applications
Application of fusion technology for cost-competitive electric energy generation cannot be realized until advanced plasma-facing materials and structures are developed. The specific problem addressed in this project is the mitigation of heat-induced failure and surface blistering of tungsten-based plasma-facing components (PFC) as a result of the interaction of tungsten with energetic helium and hydrogen isotopes. In previous work for DOE, the initial feasibility of using Ultramet textured armor coatings for protection of PFCs was demonstrated through thermomechanical response and helium recycling modeling and helium ion beam testing. The proposed project will expand on the previous work to include testing in a diverter plasma simulator and evaluation of the effects of textured surfaces on sputtering rate, thereby providing data on how to use surface engineering to minimize plasma erosion. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Nuclear fusion offers a replacement for increasingly scarce fossil fuel energy sources. Alternatives to fossil fuels (e.g. wind, solar, geothermal) cannot generate sufficient energy to meet current needs. Fusion, with its low generation of radioactive waste, is ideal for large-scale energy generation. Practical application is absolutely dependent on development of advanced materials.
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