Ultrasonic test of carbon composite/copper joints in the ITER divertor

S. Roccella, E. Cacciotti, D. Candura, A. Mancini, A. Pizzuto, A. Reale, A. Tatì, E. Visca

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The vertical targets of the ITER divertor consist of high flux units (HFU) actively cooled: CuCrZr tubes armoured by tungsten and carbon/carbon fibre composite (CFC). The armour is obtained with holed parallelepiped blocks, called monoblocks, previously prepared and welded onto the tubes by means diffusion bonding. The monoblock preparation consists in the casting of a layer of copper oxygen free (Cu OFHC) inside the monoblock hole. Each HFU is covered with more than 100 monoblocks that have to be joined simultaneously to the tube. Therefore, it is very important to individuate any defects present in the casting of Cu OFHC or at the interface with the CFC before the monoblocks are installed on the units. This paper discusses the application of non-destructive testing by ultrasound (US) method for the control of the joining interfaces between CFC monoblocks and Cu OFHC, before the brazing on the CrCrZr tube. In ENEA laboratory an ultrasonic technique (UT) suitable for the control of these joints with size and geometry according to the ITER specifications has been developed and widely tested. Real defects in this type of joints are, however, still hardly detected by UT. The CFC surface has to be machined to improve the mechanical strength of the joint. This results in a surface not perpendicular to the ultrasonic wave. Moreover, CFC is characterized by high acoustic attenuation of the ultrasonic wave and then it is not easy to get information regarding the Cu/CFC bonding. Nevertheless, the UT sharpness and simplicity pushes to perform some further study. With this purpose, a sample with artificial defects induced on the CFC/Cu interface during the Cu casting, has been manufactured and investigated, both by pulse-echo technique and by different techniques. The results obtained by the UT on this sample are reported and compared with X-ray method. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1802 - 1807
Number of pages6
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Cite this

Roccella, S., Cacciotti, E., Candura, D., Mancini, A., Pizzuto, A., Reale, A., ... Visca, E. (2013). Ultrasonic test of carbon composite/copper joints in the ITER divertor. Fusion Engineering and Design, 88(9-10), 1802 - 1807. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fusengdes.2013.05.078