Joining of Carbon-Carbon Composites for Thermonuclear Fusion Applications
Carbon-fiber-reinforced carbon (CfC) composites have been joined by using different joining agents: metals (silicon, aluminum, and titanium), an intermetallic compound (magnesium silicide, Mg2Si), and glasses (borosilicates and zinc borates). These joining agents have been chosen by considering their possible use in a thermonuclear fusion reactor, as suggested by their low-activation properties, reasonably high working temperature, industrial feasibility, and potential scale-up of the joined carboncarbon structures using pressureless-processing techniques. Each joined structure (CfC composite–joining material-CfC composite) has been first morphologically characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and X-ray diffractometry. Then, single-lap shear tests have been performed on the most-promising joined structures, i.e., silicon- and aluminum-joined CfC-composite samples, which have shown an average shear strength of 22 and 10 MPa, respectively.
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