The Lip Seal Project team: Timmo Määta, Kalervo Leino, Esa Leskelä, Robin Le Barbier, Bruno Levesy and Jean-Pierre Martins.
The ITER Vacuum Vessel will have 18 upper, 17 equatorial and 9 lower ports to allow access to the plasma for diagnostic, heating, pumping systems and maintenance. Welded "lips" made out of 2 mm thick stainless steel will seal the port plugs and confine the ultra-high vacuum inside the vessel.
In order to develop the appropriate cutting and welding techniques for the lip, the ITER Organization launched an R&D project together with the Finnish company VTT called the "Lip Seal Project." This week, the first two mockups arrived at the ITER site. They were manufactured at the VTT facility using a robotic arm especially adapted to the port's high-vacuum and nuclear environment.
An illustration showing the tig-welding of the lip seal...
The laser welded mockup successfully passed the tests for qualification and leak tightness, which was a big milestone for Bruno Levesy, the responsible engineer, and the team from VTT.
...and the laser-welding technique.
Click here to watch the movie on the Lip Seal welding technology produced by VTT.
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