Having been interested in Fusion since watching a documentary by Brian Cox ‘Can we make a star on Earth?’ in my early teens I feel lucky to be starting out with the Fusion CDT at Manchester having completed by undergraduate BEng in Mechanical with Nuclear Engineering at the same establishment.
My project will be centred on Tungsten. Tungsten is the frontrunner candidate for plasma facing components due to its optimal properties in terms of neutron irradiation resistance, good high temperature strength and thermal conductivity and low sputtering. Due to its innate brittle nature and predicted transmutation occurring in the reactor lifetime forming more brittle phases, alloying will be looked at to improve the ductility. Such alloying elements include Ti, V and Ta. Changes in the thermal conductivity of irradiated Tungsten has been observed but not in these such alloys and with thermal conductivity being an important feature, it is important that these are looked at. This research will aid with the design of our future reactors and add to the shared pool of knowledge on Tungsten and its alloys.