The characterization of lifetime-component capabilities of various chamber armors is a critical path to the development of the High Average Power Laser (HAPL) reactor design. Previous studies have examined tungsten as an armor material to protect the low-activation ferritic steel first wall from x-ray and ion damage.

Carbon-bearing materials are of interest as candidate armor materials due to their desirable thermal and mechanical properties. This analysis examines and compares several carbon-bearing materials: silicon carbide, graphite, engineered graphitic materials and carbon nanotube composites.

The transient thermal response of these materials was simulated with the BUCKY 1-D radiation hydrodynamics code utilizing the standardized HAPL x-ray and ion threat spectra. Evacuated and buffer gas filled bare-walled configurations were simulated.