Silicon carbide (SiC)-based ceramic composites have been studied for fusion applications for more than a decade. The potential for these materials have been widely discussed and is now understood to be (1) the ability to operate in temperature regimes much higher than for metallic alloys, (2) an inherent low level of long-lived radioisotopes that reduces the radiological burden of the structure, and (3) perceived tolerance against neutron irradiation up to high temperatures. This paper reviews the recent progress in development, characterization, and irradiation effect studies for SiC composites for fusion energy applications. It also makes the case that SiC composites are progressing from the stage of potential viability and proof-of-principle to one where they are ready for system demonstration, i.e., for flow channel inserts in Pb-Li blankets. Finally, remaining general and specific technical issues for SiC composite development for fusion applications are identified.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering