Thermo-Mechanical Distortion of Tungsten Coated Steel During High-Heat Flux Testing Using Plasma-Arc Lamps

Adrian S. Sabau, Kazutoshi Tokunaga, Sarma Gorti, Yoshio Ueda, Yutai Kato, Lance L. Snead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


An experimental setup and a test section were designed and fabricated for high heat flux testing (HHFT) of neutron-irradiated specimens using water-wall plasma-arc lamps. Because of the radiological considerations and limitations of reactor irradiation, the size of the test articles was limited to disks less than 10 mm in diameter. The specimen was clamped onto an actively cooled block, and clamping allowed the insertion of several thermocouples on the back surface of the specimen through a copper (Cu) block. Five vacuum plasma sprayed tungsten (W)–coated F82H steel specimens were subjected to HHFT. Surface profilometry measurements, which were conducted after HHFT, revealed central bowing of the top W surface. This type of residual distortion occurred for all of the specimens, and the larger the specimens were, the larger was the distortion. In an attempt to understand specimen distortion and address the science questions related to the testing of subsize specimens during HHFT, a simplified thermo-mechanical model was developed. By using a measured temperature in the Cu as an isothermal boundary condition, the model eliminated the need for coupling cooling fluid flow models with stress models, greatly simplifying the analysis. The main variable in the proposed model is hC, i.e., the thermal contact conductance between the F82H and the Cu washer. Inelastic properties, including hardening properties, were considered for F82H steel and Cu. Numerical simulation results demonstrated a buildup of residual deformation during HHFT and a very complex state of stress and deformation during typical heat flux (HF) cycling. Hoop stress evolution during a high heat flux cycle reveals that F82H at an interface with W would be mainly in compression during HF application and experienced a transition to a tension state during cooldown. Also, specimen distortion evolves during each HF cycle, as the specimen bows downward during HF application and upward during the cooldown period between HF cycles. The final specimen distortion, i.e., upward bowing of the specimen center, was qualitatively predicted for hC values of 4000 to 5000 W/(m2·K). This hC range of values, for which bulging is obtained, is at the lower spectrum of the range of values for hC, consistent with the low thermal contact conductance expected from the unpolished F82H surface.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFusion Science and Technology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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