UHV Chamber Precision Machining for Fusion Research Program

Posted on: May 2, 2018

University of Washington researchers are working towards a sustainable and controlled fusion reaction with funding from the DOE to improve on their HIT-SI3 prototype.

With growing climate and population concerns across the globe, researchers and the DOE are increasing efforts to discover new ways to produce cleaner and more efficient energy. The DOE has awarded Dr. Thomas Jarboe, University of Washington Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics – Physics Adjunct, a grant to further develop the HIT-SI3 plasma physics experiment.

The HIT-SI3 device is being used to demonstrate a new method of efficient current drive. Its about 1/10th the size of the ultimate device being considered. One of the manufacturing concepts is proving out precision chamber machining for use in the UHV environment. If successful, the full-scale device could be built at a cost slightly less than a coal power plant. The UW team is working to demonstrate high temperature confinement of the plasma before realizing a commercial-scale reactor.

Applied Vacuum, UHV Chamber design and manufacturing specialists, utilized resources at Anderson Dahlen to manufacture a 36” diameter Stainless Steel flange involving “cold sprayed” copper. Detailed features were machined into the flange, while avoiding contaminating or delaminating the copper. Project Managers worked to ensure that the final product is delivered to customers’ standards and expectations.

“We are very pleased with the AVT’s work in making this part. Their willingness to spin a large part well off axis made it possible. Their attention to detail made it a success. Equally praiseworthy is their communication during the manufacturing process, assuring the best possible part.”

John Rogers, Engineering Technician Lead
University of Washington Dept. of Aeronautics & Astronautics

Applied Vacuum Technology has more than 25 years experience fabricating UHV custom flanges, assemblies and UHV chambers for specialized vacuum applications. All products are fabricated and inspected to critical UHV standards. Our manufacturing and quality systems are certified to ISO 9001:2015 and Nuclear Quality Assurance (NQA-1).