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ENEA - Fusion division

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You are in: Home » Research Activities » Fusion Technologies » Advanced Materials

Advanced materials

Contact: Bruno Riccardi
e-mail: riccardi@frascati.enea.it
tel.    : 0039 06 9400 5159
fax.   : 0039 06 9400 5147

SiCf/SiC composites

Micrograph of 3-D compositeMicrograph of 3-D composite

Continuous silicon carbide (SiC) fibre-reinforced – silicon carbide matrix composites (SiCf/SiC composites) are studied as structural material for future fusion reactors because of their high mechanical resistance at high temperatures and their low neutron activation. The fusion-related R&D mainly consists in improving the thermo-mechanical properties of the composites, particularly their thermal conductivity.

Three-dimensional fibre textures (carbon and silicon carbide) with a high fibre percentage through the thickness [In collaboration with Tecnotessile s.r.l. – Prato, Italy].

Advanced SiCf/SiC composites
The activity consists in densifying two- or three-dimensional textures with polycrystalline SiC by means of a technology which combines chemical vapour infiltration (CVI) with polymeric infiltration and pyrolysis (PIP).

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Ceramic (monolithic and composite) joining technologies

TEM image of silicon carbide joint TEM image of silicon carbide joint


Joining technologies are based on brazing processes that use eutectic alloys of silicon-titanium-chromium intermetallics for the joining of monolithic or composite silicon carbide.




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Functionally graded ceramic materials

The functionally graded materials developed consist of a mixed structure of multilayer silicon carbide and ceramic composite made of a silicon carbide matrix and carbon or silicon carbide continuous fibres.

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Mechanical characterisation of metallic materials

The technique is based on the use of a flat-top cylindrical indenter (diameter variable from 0.7 – 1 mm). The test allows calculation of the modulus of elasticity, the yield stress and the brittle-ductile transition estimation.
[Collaboration with the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”]

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Intense neutron source (IFMIF)

The IFMIF (International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility) is a deuterium-lithium neutron source that produces an intense neutron flux for characterising the candidate materials for future fusion reactors. The activity carried out by the Scientific Technical Unit concerns studies on the liquid lithium target and plant-safety analyses.

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Protective coatings deposited by plasma spraying

Boron carbide and tungsten coatings have been developed to protect the plasma-facing components of tokamak reactors. The coatings have been characterised with regard to thermo-mechanical fatigue.
[Collaboration with Centro Sviluppo Materiali (CSM) in Castel Romano-Rome and Flametal SpA in Fornovo sul Taro–PR]

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