May 28, 2013

Brittle material toughened – tungsten-fibre-reinforced tungsten

Novel material for a fusion power plant / compound material with optimised properties

Tungsten is particularly suitable as material for highly stressed parts of the vessel enclosing a hot fusion plasma, it being the metal with the highest melting point. A disadvantage, however, is its brittleness, which under stress makes it fragile and prone to damage. A novel, more resilient compound material has now been developed by Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) at Garching. It consists of homogeneous tungsten with coated tungsten wires embedded. A feasibility study has just shown the basic suitability of the new compound.