31. 05. 2007
T. Ko¨ck, A. Brendel *, H. Bolt
Novel copper matrix composites reinforced with silicon carbide fibres are considered as a new generation of heat sink materials for the divertor of future fusion reactors. The divertor is exposed to intense particle bombardment and heat loads of up to 15 MW m2. This component consists of the plasma-facing material which is bonded to the actively cooled heat sink. Due to its high thermal conductivity of about 400 W m1 K1 copper is a promising material for the heat sink. To increase the mechanical properties of copper at working temperature (823 K), silicon carbide fibres with a diameter of 140 lm are used to reinforce the interface area between the plasma-facing material and the heat sink. Push-out tests show that the adhesion between SiC fibre and Cu matrix without any interlayer is very low. To increase the fibre-matrix bonding the fibres are coated with Cr and W with a thickness of 300–400 nm before Cu deposition by magnetron sputtering. Pushout tests on these modified fibres show a significant increase in adhesion compared to the fibres without interlayer. XRD investigations after a heat treatment at 923 K show a chromium carbide (Cr23C6, Cr3C2) formation and the absence of chromium silicides. In the case of a W interlayer a W2C formation is detected and also no tungsten silicides. Single-fibre tensile tests were performed to investigate the influence of the reaction zone on the ultimate tensile strength of the fibres. The ultimate tensile strength for fibres without interlayer remains constant at about 2200 MPa after annealing at 923 K. The fibres with chromium and tungsten interlayers, respectively, show a decrease of about 30% of the ultimate tensile strength after the heat treatment at 923 K.