Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 60 / Number 2 / August 2011 / Pages 570-578
IFE Design & Technology / Proceedings of the Nineteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (TOFE) (Part 2)
The level of energy deposition on future inertial fusion energy (IFE) reactor first walls, particularly in direct-drive scenarios, makes the ultimate survivability of such wall materials a challenge. We investigate the survivability of three-dimensional (3-D) dendritic materials fabricated by chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and exposed to repeated intense helium beam pulses on the RHEPP-1 facility at Sandia National Laboratories. Prior exposures of flat materials have led to what appears to be unacceptable mass loss on timescales insufficient for economical reactor operation. Two potential advantages of such dendritic materials are a) increased effective surface area, resulting in lowered fluences to most of the wall material surface, and b) improvement in materials properties for such micro-engineered metals compared to bulk processing. Several dendritic fabrications made with either tungsten and tungsten with rhenium show little or no morphology change after up to 800 pulses of 1 MeV helium at reactor-level thermal wall loading. Since the rhenium is added in a thin surface layer, its use does not appear to raise environmental concerns for fusion designs.