Tue, 19 March, 2019
The new PIP-II particle accelerator at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) USA will power the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), which aims to address key questions about the origins and structure of the Universe. The UK has committed £65 million investment to help build and operate DUNE and the Proton Improvement Plan II (PIP-II), producing the world’s most intense neutrino beam.
The 200-metre-long PIP-II accelerator is the first accelerator project built in the United States with significant contributions from international partners. UK Government is supporting the development of key components and TWI is working with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) through their Daresbury facility to develop the crucial cryomodules at the heart of the accelerator.
The core of the cryomodule is an RF cavity, approximately 1.4m long and made of a complex series of high purity niobium components which are joined by high integrity electron beam (EB) welding. TWI is leading a collaboration to make these critical components, working with Shakespeare Engineering, Chelmsford who will form the parts and the NAMRC who will support development of the procedures. The project will see TWI installing a state of the art dry-pumped electron beam welding machine with a capability to operate under cleanroom conditions.
The opportunity for UK industry to engage in large, prestigious Big Science programmes is an end in its own right. However the installation of a world-class high vacuum electron beam welding facility is an enabling capability which is available for use by industry in the development and manufacture of high value assemblies, including niobium assemblies for space and the medical sector, titanium for use in satellite propellant tanks and zirconium for power applications. Through TWI UK industry can take full advantage of this exciting new facility.
Find more about electron beam technology at TWI.