Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 39 / Number 2 / March 2001 / Pages 157-188
In fusion blanket designs that employ beryllium as a neutron multiplier, the interface conductance h plays a key role in evaluating the blanket's thermal profile. Therefore, an extensive experimental program was conducted to measure the magnitude of h between nonconforming beryllium and Type 316 stainless steel surfaces subjected to nonuniform thermal deformations. The magnitude of h was measured as a function of relevant environmental, surface, and geometric parameters, including surface roughness, contact pressure, gas pressure, gas type, and magnitude and direction of heat flow. The results indicate the following: (a) Decreasing the interfacial surface roughness from 6.28 to 0.28 m, in 760 Torr of helium, increased the magnitude of h by up to 100%; however, increasing the surface roughness reduced the dependence of h on the magnitude of the contact pressure. (b) The interface conductance was significantly higher for measurements made in helium gas as opposed to air. Additionally, the sensitivity of h to the gas pressure was significantly greater for runs conducted in helium and/or with smoother surfaces. This sensitivity was reduced in air and/or with roughened surfaces, and it was essentially nonexistent for the 6.25-m specimen for air pressures exceeding 76 Torr. (c) For runs conducted in vacuum, the interface conductance was more sensitive to heat flux than when runs were conducted in 760 Torr of helium. (d) The interface conductance was found to be dependent on the direction of heat flux. When the specimens were arranged so that heat flowed from the steel to the beryllium disk, the magnitude of h was generally greater than in the opposite direction.