Powder Injection Moulding tungsten Langmuir probes tested in nuclear fusion project

December 2, 2016

PIM tungsten Langmuir probes tested in nuclear fusion project

Fig. 1 The ITER site under construction in October 2016 (Photo ITER Organisation/EJF Riche)


The EUROfusion project is a Europe-wide consortium established in 2014 to find the most efficient way of realising fusion electricity by 2050. One of the research projects currently underway is ‘Tungsten (W) Environment in Steady State Tokamak’ (or WEST) which is intended to become one of EUROfusion’s test benches for tungsten components under conditions to be found in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). One application envisaged for tungsten is for small Langmuir probes, which are required to deliver precise data such as temperature, density and electric potential from a harsh fusion environment.

The diagnostic Langmuir probes need to survive high power and steady state particle bombardment inside tokamaks without being a risk for machine operation in the event of damage. Not only will the diagnostics provide essential data, the use of tungsten Langmuir probes bolted onto an actively cooled divertor target is considered to be a technical solution suitable for the ITER divertor probe system. As a result, the feedback from the tungsten probes in WEST research is expected to provide input into the ITER design decision.


PIM tungsten Langmuir probes tested in nuclear fusion project

Fig. 2 PIM tungsten Langmuir probes have to deliver precise data from a harsh environment


A recent report published in Fusion in Europe (No. 2, 2016) states that WEST researchers were at first struggling to find a technical solution to design the Langmuir tungsten probes, which are about the size of a paper clip. However, collaboration between two European research centres at the Institute of Applied Materials, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s (KIT), Germany, and the Department de Recherches sur la Fusion at CEA in Cadarache, France, resulted in Powder Injection Moulding (PIM) being used at KIT to produce 70 Langmuir tungsten probes for the tokamak WEST project.
Steffen Antusch, from the Institute of Applied Materials at KIT, stated in the report that the PIM Langmuir probes, which are 25 mm long, 17 mm tall and only 2 mm deep (Fig. 2) had to be produced to strict tolerances in order to comply with the diagnostic requirements of the probes. Producing the small PIM diagnostic probes proved difficult but not impossible thanks to KIT’s long standing experience in tungsten PIM. The effort was supported by two industrial partners, Rodinger Kunstoff-Technik GmbH, Germany, which produced the tools for the Powder Injection Moulding of the green moulded parts and Plansee SE, Austria, which specialises in processing refractory metals and high performance materials, finalised the components for WEST.


In the latest issue of PIM International…

Download PDF

Extensive MIM, CIM industry and sinter-based AM industry news, plus the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Global Markets for Metal Injection Moulding: Data and insight from World PM2022 and beyond
  • HP Metal Jet: Growing momentum and new applications as Binder Jetting comes of age
  • Sintex: Exploring the full flexibility of metal powder-based processes for corrosion-resistant applications
  • Tritone’s MoldJet: The definition-defying AM technology advancing steadily toward commercialisation
  • The metal powder-based processing of titanium: MIM and AM-related highlights from the PMTi2022 conference
  • Opening the door to MIM parts: A case study on the conversion of die cast door hinges

The latest news from the MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM industries

Don't miss any new issue of PIM International, and stay up to date with the latest industry news. Sign up to our fortnightly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

News from the industry…

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free-to-access PIM International magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM from a commercial and technological perspective through:

    • Reports on visits to leading part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news

    All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


    Browse the archive


    Looking for suppliers of materials, production equipment and finished MIM, CIM or sinter-based AM parts?

    Discover suppliers of these and more in our advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PIM International.

    • Metal powders
    • MIM, CIM & AM parts producers
    • Binders & feedstocks
    • Feedstock mixers
    • Furnaces & furnace supplies
    • Atmospheres & gas generation
    • HIP systems & services
    • Injection moulding machines
    • AM technology
    • Debinding systems
    Download PDF
    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap