Posted on: 22nd December 2015

#22 A cooling device

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Image: Mono-block cooling device component manufactured by Plansee. http://www.esa-tec.eu/fusion-technologies/from-fusion/mono-block-cooling-device-component

Image: Mono-block cooling device component manufactured by Plansee. http://www.esa-tec.eu/fusion-technologies/from-fusion/mono-block-cooling-device-component

Next on the fusion spin-off list: Cooling device components that have exacting specifications are vital to fusion devices. Some of the features a fusion cooling device must possess include high melting and sublimation points, high resistance to physical and chemical sputtering, and a concurrent high thermal conductivity with low neutron-activation capacity. To meet these requirements, Austrian manufacturer Plansee developed a cooling device component in a mono-block design comprising a plasma facing material heat shield that has parts made from tungsten, a tungsten alloy, and a graphitic or a carbidic material; it also has a through-hole with a pipe for a cooling fluid circulation. Through the FUTTA project, EUROfusion expects the invention to find application in other areas such as space technology.

The complexity and the multidisciplinary nature of fusion research produced number of spin-offs that have found applications in industry, other scientific disciplines, and technological advances. The areas that have benefited from fusion research span a variety of fields ranging from medicine and material science to computing and astrophysics.

EUROfusion has identified some of these spin-offs, looked at fusion research aspects that have the potential for short-term benefits, and prepared a non-exhaustive list of fusion spin-offs which demonstrate the short-term benefits of fusion research on the way to fusion electricity.