The performance of the full-W ITER divertor may be significantly affected by the interplay between steady-state plasma exposure and transient events. To address this issue, the effect of a high-flux H plasma on the thermal shock response of W to ELM-like transients has been investigated. Transient heating of W targets is performed by means of a high-power Nd:YAG laser with simultaneous exposure to H plasma in the linear device Magnum-PSI. The effects of simultaneous exposure to laser and plasma have been compared to those sequentially and to laser only. Transient melting is found to be aggravated during plasma exposure and to occur at lower heat flux parameters. Roughness and grain growth are observed to be driven by peak temperature, rather than by the loading conditions. The temperature evolution of the W surface under a series of transients is recorded by fast infrared thermography. By accounting for changes in the reflectivity at the damaged surface as measured by ellipsometry, a reduction in power handling capabilities of the laser/plasma affected W is concluded. The evidence of reduced power handling of the W surface under conditions as described here is of great concern with respect to the durability of W PFCs for application in fusion devices.
- surface analysis
- thermal shock