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Demonstrating electromagnetic control of free-surface, liquid-metal flows relevant to fusion reactors

Author(s): Hvasta, MG; Kolemen, Egemen; Fisher, AE; Ji, H

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Abstract: Plasma-facing components (PFC's) made from solid materials may not be able to withstand the large heat and particle fluxes that will be produced within next-generation fusion reactors. To address the shortcomings of solid PFC's, a variety of liquid-metal (LM) PFC concepts have been proposed. Many of the suggested LM-PFC designs rely on electromagnetic restraint (Lorentz force) to keep free-surface, liquid-metal flows adhered to the interior surfaces of a fusion reactor. However, there is very little, if any, experimental data demonstrating that free-surface, LM-PFC's can actually be electromagnetically controlled. Therefore, in this study, electrical currents were injected into a free-surface liquid-metal that was flowing through a uniform magnetic field. The resultant Lorentz force generated within the liquid-metal affected the velocity and depth of the flow in a controllable manner that closely matched theoretical predictions. These results show the promise of electromagnetic control for LM-PFC's and suggest that electromagnetic control could be further developed to adjust liquid-metal nozzle output, prevent splashing within a tokamak, and alter heat transfer properties for a wide-range of liquid-metal systems. © 2017 Not subject to copyright in the USA. Contribution of U.S. Department of Energy.
Publication Date: 1-Jan-2018
Citation: Hvasta, MG, Kolemen, E, Fisher, AE, Ji, H. (2018). Demonstrating electromagnetic control of free-surface, liquid-metal flows relevant to fusion reactors. Nuclear Fusion, 58 (1), 10.1088/1741-4326/aa9344
DOI: doi:10.1088/1741-4326/aa9344
ISSN: 0029-5515
EISSN: 1741-4326
Pages: 1 - 23
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Nuclear Fusion
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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