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Decreasing Out-of-Round in Poly(α-Methylstyrene) Mandrels by Increasing Interfacial Tension

Masaru Takagi, Robert Cook, Richard Stephens, Jane Gibson, Sally Paguio

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 38 / Number 1 / July 2000 / Pages 46-49

Technical Paper / Thirteenth Target Fabrication Specialists’ Meeting /

Currently, poly(α-methylstyrene) mandrel precursors are suspended in a salt-containing water bath during curing. Matching the density of the precursors to their bath almost, but not quite, eliminates shell sagging caused by gravity. This sagging is opposed by the interfacial tension between the plastic containing oil solution and the water bath, but the tension is barely adequate to give satisfactory sphericity. We found that adding a small amount (<0.1 wt%) of high-molecular-weight poly(acrylic acid) to the water bath substantially increased the interfacial tension. Combining that change with a gentler shell curing process enabled consistent production of more spherical mandrels.

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