Observations of Liquid Lithium Uptake in a Porous Molybdenum Foam

May 12, 2008

J. of Nuclear Materials, 378, 105-109 (2008).

Jawarski, M. A., Laua, C. Y., Urbansky, D. L., Malfa, M. B., Gray, T. K., Neumann, M. J., Ruzic, D. N.

Recent experiments with liquid lithium in magnetically confined plasmas have demonstrated improved plasma performance. These results have led researchers working on the National Spherical Torus Experiment to consider using a porous molybdenum foam and liquid lithium composite as a future liquid lithium divertor. In order to better understand the properties of this composite material, a small experimental apparatus was constructed at the University of Illinois to test lithium wetting uptake into the porous material. We report here results of the wetting behavior of a porous molybdenum foam with liquid lithium. Based on these observations, a simple model was used to estimate the thermal properties of the lithium infused porous material. Finally, the results of water-bath cleaning tests of the porous metal after lithium exposure are shown.