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A Novel Gas-Dynamic Levitation Scheme for Noncontact Coating of Spherical ICF Targets

Kyekyoon(Kevin) Kim, Qichen Feng

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 28 / Number 5 / December 1995 / Pages 1790-1796


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A novel gas-dynamic levitation technique has been developed to facilitate noncontact coating of spherical ICF targets. Using this technique three metal balls 450 µm, 650 µm and 950 µm in diameter were levitated very stably for several hours, with the balls rotating continuously. Unlike the conventional gas-dynamic levitation scheme in which a single gas-emitting fixture, placed below an object, lifts it up and contains it in a confined volume, the present scheme relies on two fixtures, one placed under and the other above the object. The bottom fixture, as is with the conventional scheme, is a gas emitter; however, the top one is a gas collector shaping the flow field around the object so as to confine the object near the axis of symmetry of the levitation system. As a result, the present system exhibits excellent stability and robustness, and is immune to such external disturbances as nonuniform temperature fields and air currents, and small changes in the levitation gas pressure. The apparatus is inexpensive to fabricate and simple to operate. The details of the apparatus and the preliminary data demonstrating the capability of the levitation scheme are presented. A target coating method, compatible with the present target levitation scheme and suitable for uniform coating of ICF targets, is indicated.

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