Secrets Revealed! Hardcore Technology Behind “EAST”

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Recently, the scientific research team led by Academician Li Jiangang and Wan Yuanxi from the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) published an article titled“The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak” onEngineering, the journal of CAE, where they introduced“EAST Superconducting TokamakNuclear Fusion Experimental Devices” of national major scientific and technological infrastructure project in detail, i.e., the project overview of EAST, and pointed out that the active cooling divertor is one of three key technologies of EAST.The divertor adopted by EAST is tungsten copper divertor independently developed by AT&M underCISRI.

As one of the components featured by the most rigorous usage conditions in the field of nuclear fusion, the divertor directly suffers the harshest heat and particle flow impact of high-temperature plasma, which proposes rigorous requirements for material selection.Graphite or tungsten monomer materials initially adopted by EAST can only maintain for seconds under low power experimental conditions, and can’t meet the engineering usage requirements for high power and long pulse, therefore, tungsten copper composite components become the ideal alternative scheme.

Since 2008, with the dream of“Artificial Sun”, AT&M has started to develop the tungsten copper divertor.Giving full play to the technology, equipment and industrialized advantages of the Company in respects of metal materials and metal diffusion bonding, the project team developed“two-step hot isostatic pressure diffusion welding” metal composite technology with independent intellectual property rights, realized high-quality dissimilar material bonding of tungsten coppercomposite components, and achieved excellent interface performance, which realized delivery in batch and installation usage of active water-cooling full-tungsten divertor products internationally for the first time, and past the high heat load test organized and arranged by ITER.On May 28, 2021, the national major scientific and technological infrastructure EAST realized repeatable 120 milliondegree centigrade 101 seconds and 160 milliondegree centigrade 20 seconds plasma operation, and created a new global record of Tokamak experiment devices again.The tungsten copper composite components of EAST upper/lower divertor solely supplied by AT&M made important contributions to“Artificial Sun” and“Chinese Fusion Dream” in China, which demonstrates the hard core strength and mission undertaking ofCISRI in respects of development of metal composite materials.

A sword sharpened for a decade must be sharp after getting out of thescabbard. By virtue of“EAST” and other national major scientific and technological infrastructure, AT&M constantly innovates and makes a breakthrough in respects of metal composite material technology, already reaching the advanced level in the world.In addition to providing ITER, EAST and WEST nuclear fusion devices with divertor key components, tungsten copper composite components are also widely applied to large-scale domestically produced medical devices, radar-oriented key parts and components.The connection technology of dissimilar materials developed by the project is applied to the third generation nuclear power main pump, national major scientific and technological infrastructure spallation neutron source core components and composite rolls used formetallurgy, etc., meeting the demands for national key equipment and major scientific and technological infrastructure in such fields as nuclear power, aerospace, petroleum, etc. This hardcore technology is constantly giving play to the hardcore role of serving national strategy.