Dunlop Aerospace of the UK has won a 500,000 Euros contract to supply carbon-carbon (C-C) composites to protect UKAEA's Joint European Torus (JET) fusion research reactor.
Under the contract, Dunlop Aerospace will supply 150 high-purity C-C tile blanks to clad metallic parts of the reactor's walls. Their function is to ensure that plasma does not come into contact with the vessel wall and other devices protruding from it, such as antenna structures.
Since the mid-1980s, Dunlop Aerospace has worked closely with fusion projects in Europe and North America to develop and manufacture C-C for plasma-facing components in wall and divertor applications. The company's work with fusion has been in environments where the properties required are similar to those needed in aircraft friction materials the ability to transfer large heat fluxes, strength retention at high temperatures and low density.
C-C consists of carbon fibres in a matrix of carbon and for most applications, including friction and fusion, it is treated at temperatures over 2400°C to optimise thermal properties.