DIFFER Publication

Design and GLADIS testing of a liquid tin divertor module prior to exposure in ASDEX Upgrade


Using liquid metals confined in capillary porous structures (CPSs) as a plasma-facing component (PFC) could prolong the lifetime of the divertor in the high heat flux area. However, the high atomic number of tin (Sn) limits its acceptable fraction in the main plasma. Therefore, a crucial step in developing this concept is to test it in a tokamak environment, particularly in the diverted plasma region, e.g. ASDEX Upgrade (AUG). In this paper, the design of liquid tin module (LTM) is explained, and the testing in the high heat flux device GLADIS before its use in AUG is presented. The LTM was additively manufactured using selective laser melting, consisting of a 1.5 mm porous layer tungsten (W) directly attached to a solid W bulk. The LTM has a plasma-facing area of 16x40 mm2 and was filled with 1.54g of Sn. In GLADIS, the module was exposed to power loads between 2 and 8 MW m-2 for 1 up to 10s, first unfilled and later filled with Sn. The surface temperature was monitored with infrared imaging and pyrometry. The thermal response was used to compare with simulations in Ansys Mechanical, enabling a determination of the module’s effective thermal properties. Sn droplets could be observed on the infrared camera, until a surface temperature of about a 1000 oC was reached. The enhanced wetting of tin on the plasma-facing surface, which was observed by a visible camera, suggests that there is a conditioning of the surface, possibly due to the removal of impurities and oxides. Subsequent examinations of the adjacent tile revealed minor Sn leakages emanating from the module’s edge. Furthermore, the module showed no indication of mechanical failure. Therefore, these results indicated that the LTM qualifies for the heat fluxes expected in ASDEX Upgrade.

Year of Publication
Nuclear Materials and Energy
Number of Pages
Date Published
Alternate Journal
Nucl. Mater. Energy
Journal Article
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