Spinning Lithium Attacking Potential Substrates (SLAPS)

March 2, 2022

In order to be able to fully utilize liquid metals in fusion devices, their corrosive attack on a variety of materials needs to be known. Particularly, lithium attack on the structural components of a device are of concern.

Previous work has looked at static lithium corrosion, often under extreme temperatures. The Spinning Lithium Attacking Potential Substrates (SLAPS) device at the Center for Plasma-Material Interactions investigates the effect of rotating lithium at relevant temperatures on the corrosion behavior of potential materials. SLAPS consists of a spindle with a variety of mounted samples which rotate in a bucket of molten lithium at operating temperatures (~300C) for multiple days (~100 hrs).Rotation allows the investigation of fluid shear on the corrosion dynamics. Mechanical properties of the materials are of prime concern for this project, so each material undergoes tensile testing before and after lithium exposure to determine how lithium has changed material performance. Additionally, 3D optical profilometry is employed to determine if microscopic surface changes have occurred. SLAPS will allow us to provide candidate materials for use in a variety of components in fusion devices.