Part of the structure of the proposed International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) consists of toroidal field coil cases.
One of TWI's industrial members had a contract with ITER to develop the procedures for fabrication of these coil cases. Each coil case consists of a 470 tonne D-shaped box with a 1.4m square hollow section fabricated from AISI 316LN stainless steel plate and forgings up to 350mm thick. The distortion tolerances for the coil case are critical.
- TWI was called in to advise the contractors on the development of procedures for predicting the distortions and residual stresses due to welding.
- TWI assisted in drawing up a programme of work including manufacturing of test pieces, measurement of temperatures and distortions and weld simulation modelling.
- The development programme provided validated methods for predicting the distortion in the coil case. With this information, machining allowances can be minimised, thereby producing significant cost savings.
- TWI also developed procedures for welding thick section 316LN stainless steel using electron beam welding.