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Transient computational and experimental thermal analysis of graphite foam monoblock...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1519 to 1524
Conference Name
Symposium on Fusion Engineering (SOFE)
Conference Location
Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

A densified graphite foam is being explored for its applicability as plasma-facing material in fusion devices. Three different graphite foam monoblocks are constructed and tested in the Garching Large Divertor Sample Testing Facility. The monoblock samples consist of graphite foam press-fit to a single tube, graphite foam cubes brazed to a single, and graphite foam cubes press-fit to a single tube. The tube is composed of CuCrZr with a steel twisted tape. The monoblocks are exposed to the heat fluxes of 5, 6, and 8 MW/m 2 for 30 s to determine the maximum surface and body temperatures measured with thermocouple for each monoblock design. The press-fit monoblocks are exposed to 8 MW/m 2 for 15 s for 100 cycles to determine the effect of thermal cycling on the contact between the graphite foam and the tube. STAR-CCM+ is used to predict how much the contact between the foam and tubes varies as a result of thermal cycling. In addition, the 6 MW/m 2 loading is modeled in STAR-CCM+ to compare the transient cooldown curves of the computational results to the recorded temperatures at the surface and two different thermocouple locations. This comparison is used to validate the temperature-dependent thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity used in the models of the graphite foam. The computational modeling of the experiment has been used to hypothesize ways to use and improve upon the graphite foam as a suitable material for fusion applications.