Collaborative materials’ research to accelerate the R&D of our customers

Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK.CEN explains the benefits of working with OCAS.

“SCK.CEN (Belgian Nuclear Research Centre ) has a long standing tradition of working together with OCAS on material related topics,” explains Dmitry Terentyev, Head of Expertise Group on Structural Materials and Programme Manager of Fusion R&D at SCK.CEN. “While looking to improve the material characteristics of a component that needs to withstand operating temperatures between approx. 2000° and 150-200°C, we launched a collaboration with OCAS.”

“While tungsten (W) is being main candidate to create an armour for plasma facing components in ITER – fusion reactor under construction in France, it has a principal drawback – brittleness. Commercially produced W already has a rather high ductile to brittle transition (about 300°C). Under prolonged operation in fusion environment it will raise up further, causing a risk for structural integrity of the component. Application of composites and high entropy alloys based on refractory metals (tungsten and chromium) are potential options to alleviate the initial brittleness as well as improve resistance to the harsh irradiation damage caused by post products of fusion reaction. The rich metallurgical expertise of OCAS and the long standing nuclear material science knowledge of SCK.CEN were put in synergy to launch a joint project.”

“The collaboration with our external partner in the field of synthesis of high melting point elements/alloys is a great initiative, opening up a broad range of fascinating exploratory domains!”

Dmitry Terentyev, Head of Expertise Group on Structural Materials and Programme Manager of Fusion R&D at SCK.CEN, Institute of Nuclear Material Science

“A good knowledge of the application requirements is of key importance for the development of a suitable material. Even though at OCAS we only have a minimal understanding of what happens in a nuclear reactor, our long-standing partnership with SCK.CEN ensures the needed exchange of information with the specialists of SCK.CEN to co-develop good lab materials for advanced, international R&D programmes.”

Nico De Wispelaere, Programme manager, OCAS