Material tests under very high loads

The emphasis of the research in the high temperature materials laboratory (HML) is put on experiments for the characterization of materials

and components for the First Wall and Divertor of the actually built or planned fusion devices ITER and DEMO, respectively.

These plasma facing materials and components experience severe loading conditions due to plasma-wall interaction, which comprise high steady state loads of up to 20 MW/m2 during the cyclic operation of the facility. Furthermore, normal and off-normal transient thermal loads occur with energy densities up to about 50 MJ/m2. Those loading conditions put high demands on the material selection and the production processes during component manufacturing. High heat flux tests by means of the electron beam facilities JUDITH 1 und JUDITH 2 are performed successfully to qualify the materials and the reliability of components with respect to failure mechanisms and life-time.

Besides high thermal and particle loads, the materials of future fusion devices will be exposed to high energetic neutron bombardment. These neutrons influence significantly the material properties and accordingly the performance of components. Therefore, the investigation of irradiated components is an integral element in the qualification process, which is done by neutron exposure in material test reactors (e.g. HFR in Petten and BR-2 in Mol) and subsequent investigation in the HML.

Irradiation Samples with irradiation capsule in preparation for inserting into the material test reactor.

The characterization of neutron irradiated materials and components comprises the determination of thermo-physical properties and the performance of high heat flux tests in the electron beam facility JUDITH 1 as well as the actually planned successor of JUDITH 1, i.e. JUDITH 3, and the linear plasma device JULE-PSI. Furthermore, post-mortem characterizations are done by microscopic and metallographic means.

The HML collaborates strongly with the IEK-2 within the research center as well as with national and international organizations and projects (ITER, Fusion for Energy – F4E, EUROfusion, JET, ...).

Based on the existing expertise in the HML in the field of high temperature materials, besides the various nuclear fusion related activities also projects for the development of x-ray anodes, ceramic insulators in the conventional power plant technology and high temperature ceramics of the metal industry are further research topics.

The scientific publication Material testing facilities and programs for plasma-facing component testing gives an overview on relevant test facilities.


Dr. Gerald Pintsuk

Telefon 02461 61-6383
Telefax 02461 61-6435

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Last Modified: 20.09.2022