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A novel design of transitional layer structure between reduced activation ferritic martensitic steels and tungsten for plasma facing materials

by Tim Seibert, Lizhen Tan, Ishtiaque Robin, Yutai Kato, Ying Yang
Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Materials Research and Technology
Publication Date
Page Numbers
4285 to 4299

Plasma-facing components (PFCs) are among the most critical gaps for fusion energy to establish technical and economic feasibility. Tungsten as a first wall/blanket material in PFCs requires to be integrating with reduced activation ferritic martensitic (RAFM) steels as a structural component. Currently, major drawbacks are the requirement of brazing, the formation of a brittle interface, and a large difference between the coefficients of thermal expansion of tungsten and steel. Here, a novel transitional multilayer structure was designed and investigated to join tungsten and RAFM steels using three interlayers. The composition of each interlayer was selected based on computational thermodynamics and diffusion kinetics to ensure a body-centered cubic (bcc) single-phase structure and prevent the formation of a brittle intermetallic phase region in the temperature range of 600–1150 °C. Although the transitional layer structure was designed for additive manufacturing, spark plasma sintering (SPS) as proof of concept was used to bond the individual layers. Interfaces were investigated using scanning and transmission electron microscopy methods but no layered intermetallic phase was observed. Nanoindentation maps across the interface suggest major hardness differences at the interface between tungsten and the vanadium interlayer, as well as the interface between RAFM steel and the FeCrAl interlayer.