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Manufacturing Complex Silica Aerogel Target Components

Kimberly A. DeFriend Obrey, Robert D. Day, Doug Hatch, Brent F. Espinoza, Shihai Feng, Brian M. Patterson

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 55 / Number 4 / Pages 490-498

May 2009

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Aerogel is a material used in numerous components for inertial confinement fusion and high-energy density physics targets. In the past, these components were molded into the proper shapes. Artifacts left in the parts from the molding process, contour irregularities from shrinkage, and density gradients caused by the skin have caused Los Alamos National Laboratory to pursue machining as a way to make the components. The machining of aerogel is an involved process, and many manufacturing aspects need to be considered including holding the material for machining, achieving the desired surface roughness and the desired dimensional accuracy, conceivably producing a part with enhanced dimensional tolerance and minimal density variations. Therefore, an effort has been established to develop a method to more accurately determine density errors, perform machining experiments, acquire physical property data, and model the machining process.

 
 
 
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