Brazing Technology for Plasma Facing Components in Nuclear Fusion Applications Using Low and Graded CTE Interlayers
In Plasma Facing Components (PFCs) for nuclear fusion reactors, the protective material, carbon based or tungsten, has to be joined to the copper alloy heat sink for optimum heat transfer. High temperature vacuum brazing is a possible joining process as long as a proper interlayer is introduced to mitigate the residual stresses due to the mismatch of thermal expansion coefficient (CTE). Pure copper can act as plastic compliant layer, however for carbon based materials a proper structuring of the joining surface is necessary to meet the thermal fatigue lifetime requirements. In this work pure molybdenum and tungsten/copper Metal Matrix Composites (W-wires in Cu-matrix) interlayers have been studied as alternative to pure copper for carbon based protective materials in flat tile configuration. Finite element simulations of the brazing process have been performed to evaluate the expected residual stress reduction near the metal-carbon interface. In fact it has been demonstrated that stiff low CTE interlayers can shift the peak stresses from the weak carbon-metal interface to the strongest metal-metal one. Relevant samples have been manufactured and subjected to preliminary metallographic and thermal shock tests. Results obtained so far are encouraging and active cooled mock-ups are being prepared for high heat flux testing. Research work is in progress as regards monoblock configuration with both Wf/Cu MMC and graded Cu/W plasma sprayed and HIPped layers.
Ch. Linsmeier and M. Reinelt
C. Gualco et al., "Brazing Technology for Plasma Facing Components in Nuclear Fusion Applications Using Low and Graded CTE Interlayers", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 59, pp. 192-197, 2009