By-products of Nuclear Fusion Research: Tungsten-Enhanced Steel Pipes

Research in extreme areas such as nuclear fusion often leads to unexpected discoveries with broad application potential. In this edition of our EUROfusion Engage Newsletter, we would like to introduce another innovative material combination that originally emerged as a by-product at the Research Center in Jülich (Forschungszentrum Jülich). The image depicts the transformation of a […]

Visual Puzzle: What story does this image tell?

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) of …? , image taken by Alexander Lau, FZJ.

This week’s highlighted image does not offer any detailed information, so please share your thoughts. What do you think is portrayed here? Does this image have anything to do with nuclear fusion? “I’m eager to see if someone who has perused recent articles can make an educated guess about the content of this image. Keep […]

How can tungsten be both brittle and tough?

Have you ever wondered, while observing the composite materials showcased in some of our recent posts (post #1, post #3, post #4), how an element like tungsten can exhibit both brittleness and flexibility at the same time? It seems contradictory, doesn’t it? Comparisons to reinforced concrete may be misleading, as the reinforcing material typically differs […]

From Beakers to Factories: Transforming Ideas into Industrial Solutions

One of the central goals of this EUROfusion Engage Newsletter is to demystify some of the complex challenges in the field of nuclear fusion for those who are not familiar with the field. Imagine research progress as putting together a puzzle: it starts with a scattered collection of pieces – pieces of information that initially […]

Small Scale, Big Impact: Transforming Brittle Tungsten with Woven Tungsten Yarns

This week’s spotlighted image reveals the foundational element for the advanced composite showcased in our first post. It displays radially braided yarns engineered with the exceptional capability to reinforce materials that are typically brittle, such as tungsten (below DBTT – ductile to brittle transition temperature). Within the demanding environment of a nuclear fusion device, plasma-facing […]

Tungsten Crystals for Nuclear Fusion?

Tungsten, known for having the highest melting point among all metals, plays a pivotal role in advancing nuclear fusion technology. Its resilience to extreme temperatures, efficient thermal conduction, minimal neutron activation, and low interaction with fusion fuels, positions tungsten as the leading candidate for plasma-facing components (PFCs) in commercial nuclear fusion reactors. However, crafting tungsten […]

Energy Consumption and Fuels

The core functions of our body, the steady rumble of an automobile, the quiet operations of our digital devices, and the soothing heat in our living spaces all depend on a vital element: energy. In an era of expanding population, shrinking spatial and fuel reserves, we face new challenges that call for immediate and lasting […]

When the Perfect Material Doesn’t Exist: Exploring Fusion’s Material Challenges

SEM image of a tungsten fiber reinforced tungsten composite manufactured via CVD, Alexander Lau, Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ). Image was obtained with scanning electron microscope (SEM) Carl Zeiss LEODSM982.

Often, we hear statements like: ‘Fusion is and always will be 30 years away!’ ‘There is no progress in nuclear fusion research!’ ‘Why don’t we just use our already working fusion reactor and simply use solar panels?’ Statements like these are not unusual when it comes to nuclear fusion, but let’s explore the reality. Is […]