Thermal fatigue response of W-EUROFER brazed joints by the application of High Heat Flux loads
The thermal fatigue effect on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the joints that form some components of the future fusion reactor is a concern within the scientific community. In this study, we analyze the metallurgical modifications caused by thermal fatigue and their impact on the mechanical properties of tungstenEUROFER brazed joints (blocks measuring 6 × 6 × 4 mm). We conduct the analysis using an actively cooled mock-up subjected to steady-state thermal loads, which provides valuable information about the operating conditions of the reactor. Three different surface conditions of tungsten were evaluated: 600 ºC (2 MW/m2 ), 700 ºC (2.5 MW/m2 ), and 800 ºC (3 MW/m2 ), with varying numbers of applied cycles ranging from 100 to 1000. Throughout the tests, infrared cameras and pyrometers were used to analyze the thermal behavior of the WEUROFER joint. At 600 ºC and 700 ºC target temperatures, no anomalies in the heating and cooling capacity of the W-EUROFER joint were observed. This represents an advancement compared to previous studies that employed Cu20Ti filler, as it demonstrates consistent and efficient cooling capabilities even at surface temperatures of up to 700 ºC, without any notable anomalies starting from the previous filler’s 500 ºC. However, in the case of 800 ºC, the test had to be prematurely stopped. Microstructural analysis revealed the formation of cracks in some cases due to the stresses generated by the mismatch in the coefficient of thermal expansion between the materials used. These cracks affected the mechanical integrity of the joint.
This work has been carried out within the framework of the EUROfusion Consortium, funded by the European Union via the Euratom Research and Training Programme (Grant Agreement No 101052200 — EUROfusion). Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.
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