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  • davidrooke

At the Cutting Edge

As experts in the field of CVD we are at the cutting edge of new material development.

It’s not often you can say that you are part of a team that has developed a brand new material, but on several of occasions we have done just that, including in partnership with the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) at Garching near Munich. The new material in question was a tungsten fibre reinforced tungsten metal. What is so wonderful about that? Well if you carefully tailor the interface between the fibres and the matrix, you can turn an brittle material into a material with considerable toughness. This is particularly useful in high temperature environments where high thermal stresses cause solid tungsten to crack up. An example being a fusion power plant such as ITER currently under construction on Caderache in France.

The tungsten fibre is the same as that you find in old fashioned filament light bulbs and the matrix material is deposited using ATL’s specialism chemical vapour infiltration or CVI for short.

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