Funded by the Department of Energy, the SLiDE facility is dedicated to studying the phenomenon of TEMHD and its applications to Plasma-Facing Components for nuclear fusion reactors. When there is a temperature differential across a metal, a small thermo-electric (TE) current will flow along the direction of the temperature difference. If the metal is in a liquid form and a strong magnetic field is present, the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) forces on the liquid metal will cause it to flow. The combination of these two phenomena – TEMHD – allows flowing metal films to be created which can potentially handle higher heat fluxes than conventional solid materials used in fusion devices.
The shape of the solid structure that the liquid metal flows across has a significant effect on how the liquid flows. Novel geometries being developed and tested at CPMI include 2D posts, porous metal foams, 3D printed materials, and curved surfaces.