F4E vacuum vessel forgings are progressing

Stainless steel forgings are currently being produced, within the framework of the contract between F4E and the AMW consortium (Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A, Mangiarotti S.p.A and Walter Tosto S.p.A) for the fabrication of 7 vacuum vessel sectors for ITER, which will be used in the manufacturing of these sectors.

Rolf Kind GmbH (Germany), Acciaierie Valbruna (Italy) and ThyssenKrupp (Germany), the three sub-contractors, have carried out the task of producing different kinds of forgings which will be used on the first three of the seven sectors (out of the total nine) that Europe is contributing to the ITER project (the two other sectors of the vacuum vessel are supplied by Korea).

The forgings consist of big blocks of 316 LN ITER grade stainless steel (a type of steel which is made up of a low carbon and high nitrogen content). These blocks have been produced by mixing pellets of materials such as chromium, nickel, and of course, steel.

The mixture is heated to a temperature of approximately 1,500 degrees C and poured into moulds for cooling. Following completion of machining, they will be welded in order to create parts of the vacuum vessel segments.

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