During an accident with loss-of-coolant and air ingress in DEMO, the temperature of tungsten first wall cladding may exceed 1000oC and remain for months leading to tungsten oxidation. The radioactive tungsten oxide can be mobilized to the environment at rates of 10 – 150 kg per hour. Smart tungsten-based alloys are under development to address this issue. Alloys are aimed to function as pure tungsten during regular plasma operation of DEMO. During an accident, alloying elements will create a protective layer, suppressing release of W oxide.
Bulk smart alloys were developed by using mechanical alloying and field-assisted sintering technology. The mechanical alloying process was optimized leading to an increased powder production by 45%. Smart alloys and tungsten were tested under a variety of DEMO-relevant plasma conditions. Both materials demonstrated similar sputtering resistance to deuterium plasma. Under accident conditions, alloys feature a 40-fold reduction of W release compared to that of pure tungsten.