Exel Composites and CNIM Collaborate

April 02 2018

Exel Composites is collaborating with French industrial contractor CNIM on the manufacture of fiberglass components for the magnet support structure of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world’s largest experimental fusion facility. To satisfy the stringent quality demands for the pre-compression rings, Exel Composites successfully solved the challenge of producing defect-free pultruded profiles of around 3 km in length. The composite pre-compression rings are the cornerstone of the ITER’s magnet system support structure. The pre-compression rings are required to withstand maximum hoop stresses of up to 500 MPa at room temperature. Glass fiber epoxy composite with high fiber content was selected as the most suitable material to withstand such extreme loads, avoid circulation of electromagnetic currents and deliver a long service life.

The 18 billion euros ITER under construction in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France, is designed to demonstrate that fusion power can be produced on a commercial scale, providing a safe, environmentally sustainable energy source. The ITER will use hydrogen fusion, controlled by superconducting magnets, to produce massive heat energy. In the commercial machines that will follow, this heat will drive turbines to produce electricity.

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