Method for production of composite structural component resistant to high thermal stress


Renowned European research institute FZ Jülich has developed a hot isostatic press (HIP) technique for production of a composite component that can withstand high thermal stress while maintaining desirable mechanical properties. The components were originally developed for application in the UK-based nuclear fusion reactor JET.


FZ Jülich has developed a HIP process for production of composite components that exhibit high thermal stress resistance. During the HIP process, graphite and curable copper-chromium-zirconium alloy parts are bonded together, with a layer of copper (or copper alloy) on the bonding surface between the two parts, to form a monobloc component. The HIP process is performed in the temperature range 400-500 °C, under 200-100 bar pressure, for 0.5-8 hours. Curing of the copper-chromium-zirconium alloy occurs automatically during the HIP process, while its high-temperature mechanical characteristics are retained.

Innovations and advantages of the offer

The high operating pressures involved have traditionally hindered the use of graphite in HIP processes, while the operating temperatures used have limited the use of copper-based alloys. The application of a layer of copper (or copper alloy) on the bonding surface of the graphite allows the HIP process to be performed at significantly lower temperatures and pressures than are typically used.

The resulting components exhibit high thermal stress resistance while the optimal mechanical characteristics of the copper-chromium-zirconium alloy are retained. The method developed can also produce complex structural components with thin-wall metal parts, something that cannot be achieved with conventional methods such as electron beam welding. The automatic curing (hardening) of the copper-chromium-zirconium alloy during HIP is another distinct advantage of the technique that has been developed.


The components are designed for nuclear fusion application, and are optimised to deal with high neutron flux as well as thermal stress.

Comments on the technology by the broker

This technology has been identified in the framework of the FUTTA (Fusion Technology Transfer Action) project, funded by the European Commission, and with the collaboration of Eurofusion.



Mechanical Components
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