Simulated Material Erosion from Plasma Facing Components in Tokomak Reactors
Echols, John Russell
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Material erosion, melting, splashing, bubbling, and ejection during disruption events in future large tokamak reactors are of serious concern to component longevity. The majority of the heat flux during disruptions will be incident on the divertor, which will be made from tungsten in the future large tokamak ITER. Electrothermal plasma sources operating in the confined controlled arc discharge regime produce heat fluxes in the range expected for hard disruptions in future large tokamaks. The radiative heat flux produced inside of the capillary discharge channel is from the formed high density (10^23 - 10^27/m^3) plasma with heat fluxes of up to 125 GW/m^2 over a period of 100s of microseconds, making such sources excellent simulators for ablation studies of plasma-facing materials in tokamaks during hard disruptions. Experiments have been carried out with the PIPE device exposing tungsten to these high heat flux plasmas. SEM images have been taken of the tungsten surfaces, cross sections of tungsten surfaces, and ejected material. Melting and bubble/void formation has been observed on the tungsten surface. The tungsten surface shows evidence of melt-layer flow and the existence of voids and cracks in the exposed material. The ejected material does not show direct evidence of liquid material ejection which would lead to splashing. EDS analysis has been performed on the ejected material which demonstrates a lack of deposited solid tungsten particulates greater than micron size.
- Masters Theses