Fusion technology as a possible and promising alternative energy source for the future is intensively investigated at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The KIT divertor design for the future DEMO fusion power plant is based on a modular concept of He-cooling finger units. More than 250,000 single parts are needed for the whole divertor system, where the most promising divertor material, tungsten, must withstand steady-state heat loads of up to 10 MW/m2.
Powder injection molding (PIM) as a mass-oriented manufacturing method of parts with high near-net-shape precision has been adapted and developed at KIT for producing tungsten parts, which provides a cost-saving alternative compared to conventional machining. While manufactured tungsten parts are normally composed of only one material, two-component PIM applied in this work allows the joining of two different materials, e.g., tungsten with a tungsten alloy, without brazing.
The complete technological process of two-component tungsten PIM of samples, including the subsequent heat-treatment process, is outlined. Characterization results of the finished samples, e.g., microstructure, hardness, density, and joining zone quality, are discussed.