Plasma-Facing Component Innovations by Advanced Manufacturing and Design
For more than 60 years, fusion research and development (R&D) has focused on attaining the required fuel density, temperature, and energy confinement time of the plasma fuel of a viable fusion energy system. Currently, relatively modest investments have been made in the required and equally critical enabling technologies and advanced materials surrounding the plasma fuel. The GAMOW program supports innovative R&D that will help establish both the technical and commercial viability of (i) all the required technologies and subsystems between the fusion plasma and the balance of plant, (ii) cost-effective, high-efficiency, high-duty-cycle driver technologies, and (iii) novel fusion materials and advanced manufacturing of these materials.
Project Innovation + Advantages:
Robust, affordable, and durable plasma-facing components (PFCs) are key to commercial fusion energy. PFCs must maintain the capability to handle the extreme heat, high-density plasma, high-energy neutrons, and fuel cycling in safe and economical operation. So far, a solution does not exist. Solid PFCs with a tungsten (W) armor, helium (He) cooling, and reduced-activation steel structure may satisfy the demanding requirements. This ORNL-led team will use laser powder-bed-fusion and electron-beam melting to create high-quality, W alloys (crack-free, high-density with acceptable properties) as the armor and reduced-activation, ferritic/martensitic steels as the base structure, with compositionally graded interlayers. They will use computational alloy design to integrate the materials with additive manufacturing. A high-quality integrated structure will promote cost-effective PFC designs for a range of fusion-energy concepts, with unprecedented flexibility for performance and reliability.
Successful development of fusion energy science and technology could lead to a safe, carbon-free, abundant energy source for developed and emerging economies.
The GAMOW program will advance American leadership in fusion energy science and technology.
If successfully developed and commercialized, fusion energy can provide abundant, zero-carbon energy.
Advances in GAMOW’s technical areas will help accelerate progress toward commercial fusion energy and a new zero-carbon energy economy.
ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Ahmed DialloProject Contact:
Dr. Yutai Katoh
Press and General Inquiries Email:
ARPA-E-Comms@hq.doe.govProject Contact Email:
University of Tennessee
Texas A&M University
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
University of California, Los Angeles
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Georgia Tech Research Corporation
Sandia National Laboratory