The ITER Central Solenoid (CS) consists of a stack of six independent coil packs called modules. It features a total height of 18 m and a diameter of over 4 m. The modules are in an advanced stage of fabrication by the US ITER Project Office (USIPO) and its subcontractor General Atomics (GA). A qualification module mock-up at one to one scale but of reduced height was wound and Vacuum Pressure Impregnated (VPI) by GA to validate final manufacturing, using tooling and processes fully representative of a series module. The module was submitted to a thermal cycle down to the temperature of 4.5 K at which the coils will be cooled by supercritical helium. During plasma operation, the CS modules are subjected to a complex combination of static and dynamic forces. The understanding of the mechanical behaviour of the CS module coils is of paramount importance to analyse and predict the overall response of the CS stack. To this purpose, an extensive programme of investigation of the module mock-up has been defined and applied. This allowed assessing, through examination and testing of a large number of VPI conductor array samples extracted from the mock-up, the soundness of the coil through advanced non-destructive examination techniques including X-ray micro-tomography, dimensional metrology measurements and micro-optical observations. Moreover, additional testing of physical and mechanical properties carried out at room and cryogenic temperature allowed the behaviour of the conductor stacks to be assessed. The paper summarises the results of these investigations and their interpretation through mechanical analyses based on the individual properties of the coil constituents.
The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ITER Organization.