Posted on: 24th December 2015

#24 Investigating nano fluids

Research is being carried out to investigate the use of nano fluids to improve the cooling of surfaces within fusion reactors that are exposed to extremely high temperatures. Nano fluids are a mixture of liquids, typically water, and nanoparticles that are less than 100 nanometres in diameter. The nanoparticles being investigated for nuclear applications include: alumina, ceramics, and carbon nanotubes. Nanofluids exhibit dramatically improved thermophysical properties in comparison with conventional coolants. The fusion community has already recognised that these nanofluids have the potential to enhance any application that uses water or oil-based convective cooling. These include a variety of fields: the automotive industry, electronics, semiconductors, aerospace, heat exchangers, and gas turbines.

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.