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Tritium Test of a Ferrofluidic Rotary Seal

Alexander Antipenkov, Christian Day, Hans-Dieter Adami

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 54 / Number 1 / Pages 35-38

July 2008


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The ferrofluidic seal is being investigated as an internal rotary seal for tritium compatible mechanical roots type vacuum pumps. After its successful testing with helium and integration into a small (250 m3/h) test roots pump, the seal, made as a cartridge, has been integrated into a special test unit and is currently being tested with tritium in order to define the leak rates and the possible degradation of the ferrofluid under long term exposure to tritium radiation. The tritium pressure from one side of the seal is 0.125 MPa, the nitrogen pressure from the other side is 0.075 MPa, the rotation speed is maintained at 1500 rpm. The tritium leak through the cartridge contributes to the tritium concentration in the nitrogen, which is continuously measured by an ionisation chamber; the pressure in both chambers is continuously registered by precise pressure gauges. The experimental program is discussed.

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