Finite element analysis of heat load of tungsten relevant to ITER conditions

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  • UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain - IMMC - Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering - Belgium

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A computational procedure is proposed in order to predict the initiation of intergranular cracks in tungsten with ITER specification microstructure (i.e. characterised by elongated micrometresized grains). Damage is caused by a cyclic heat load, which emerges from plasma instabilities during operation of thermonuclear devices. First, a macroscopic thermo-mechanical simulation is performed in order to obtain temperature- and strain field in the material. The strain path is recorded at a selected point of interest of the macroscopic specimen, and is then applied at the microscopic level to a finite element mesh of a polycrystal. In the microscopic simulation, the stress state at the grain boundaries serves as the marker of cracking initiation. The simulated heat load cycle is a representative of edge-localized modes, which are anticipated during normal operations of ITER. Normal stresses at the grain boundary interfaces were shown to strongly depend on the direction of grain orientation with respect to the heat flux direction and to attain higher values if the flux is perpendicular to the elongated grains, where it apparently promotes crack initiation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysica Scripta
Issue number014002
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2017


  • Finite element analysis, heat load , tungsten, ITER

ID: 3368180