The new Irradiated Material Target Station (IMTS) facility for fusion materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) uses an infrared plasma-arc lamp (PAL) to deliver incident heat fluxes as high as 27 MW/m2. The facility is being used to test neutron irradiated plasma-facing component materials as part of the joint US-Japan PHENIX program. The irradiated samples are to be mounted on molybdenum sample holders attached to a water-cooled copper rod. Depending on the size and geometry of samples, several sample holders and copper rod configurations have been fabricated and tested.

As a part of the effort to design sample holders compatible with the high heat flux (HHF) testing to be conducted at the IMTS facility, numerical simulations have been performed for two different water-cooled sample holder designs using the ANSYS FLUENT® 14.0 commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package. The primary objective of this work is to evaluate the cooling capability of different sample holder designs, i.e. to estimate their maximum allowable incident heat flux values.

2D axisymmetric numerical simulations are performed using the realizable k-ɛ turbulence model and the RPI nucleate boiling model within ANSYS FLUENT® 14.0. The results of the numerical model were compared against the experimental data for two sample holder designs tested in the IMTS facility. The model has been used to parametrically evaluate the effect of various operational parameters on the predicted temperature distributions. The results were used to identify the limiting parameter for safe operation of the two sample holders and the associated peak heat flux limits. The results of this investigation will help guide the development of new sample holder designs.