For the highest sputtering threshold of all possible candidates, tungsten will be the most likely armor material in highly loaded plasma-interactive components of commercially relevant fusion reactors. The development of new materials, as well as joining and coating techniques are needed to find the best balance in plasma compatibility, lifetime, reliability, neutron irradiation resistance, and safety. Further important issues for selection are availability, costs of machining and production, etc. Tungsten doped with lanthanum oxide is a commercially available W grade for electrodes, designed for low electron work function, higher recrystallization temperature, reduced secondary grain growth, and machinability at relatively low costs. W-Re and related tungsten base alloys are preferred for application at high temperatures, when high strength, high thermal shock and recrystallization resistance are required. Due to the high costs and limited global availability of Re, however, the amount of such alloys in a commercial reactor should be kept low. Newly measured material properties up to high temperatures are presented for lanthanated and W-Re alloys, and the impact on fusion application is discussed. Recently developed coatings of chemical vapor deposited tungsten (CVD-W) on copper substrates have proven to be resistant to repeated thermal and shock loading. Layers of more than 5 mm, as required for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), became available. Vacuum plasma sprayed tungsten (VPS-W) in particular is attractive for its lower costs, and the potential of in situ repair. However, the advantage of sacrificial plasma-interactive tungsten coatings in long-term fusion devices has yet to be demonstrated. A durable and reliable joining of bulk tungsten to copper is needed to achieve an acceptable component lifetime in a fusion environment. The material properties of the copper alloys proposed for ITER, and their impact on the quality of bonding to tungsten is discussed. Future materials R&D should concern issues such as plasma compatibility, and above all neutron irradiation damage of promising tungsten-copper joints.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- General Materials Science
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering