The Manufacturing Technology and Equipment Qualification (MTEQ) group specialises in research and testing projects that require innovative manufacturing solutions for customers, such as global fusion projects. Their work on these programmes includes:
- Assessing existing components
- Advancing the manufacturability of new component designs
- Supporting the commercial manufacture of components
- Providing technical support to other UKAEA departments
- An active research programme on joining, manufacturing and testing of components for fusion
- Hosting and developing testing equipment to de-risk fusion challenges
- Disseminating the requirements and challenges of realising a fusion reactor
- Creating a broad network to identify the full landscape of potential organisations that could contribute to all the different fusion power plant manufacturing challenges
- Providing expert knowledge in fusion as well as IP and expertise in joining, advanced manufacturing and testing which will be accessible to UK industry to help them engage in current and future fusion work
- Working to transfer technology and expertise between sectors, into and out of fusion
- Non-Destructive Testing and in-situ health monitoring (particularly for extreme environments)
- Advanced joining techniques (joining fusion materials using common techniques or applying new technologies)
- Advanced manufacturing methods (new ways of creating fusion components)
- Additive manufacturing
There are four main areas that the MTEQ group covers:
These projects address the feasibility, longevity and optimisation of production and joining processes, to make intricate components and assemblies capable of surviving the effects of rigorous environments.
Evaluation and inspection
MTEQ is developing new procedures for reviewing and evaluating challenging fusion materials. These will identify faults, which may affect the level of performance required. In addition, inspection techniques that can be operated remotely are being investigated to carry out ‘in situ’ monitoring inside tokamaks.
CHIMERA will be the only machine in the world able to test components under the unique combination of conditions encountered in large fusion devices, such as ITER. It will simultaneously subject components, under vacuum, air or inert gas, to:
- High temperatures
- High heat flux
- Static and pulsed magnetic loads
- Thermal cycling, fatigue, creep and other failure modes
These projects aim to develop in-depth knowledge and experience of engineering design codes and standards, in particular those associated with the fusion industry, pressure vessels and advanced welding techniques.
They can be used to progress new methodologies and best practice in the manufacturing of components for testing and qualification under the conditions associated with fusion.