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Assembly Hall

Another massive paint job

By the end of December, the massive painting job in the Assembly Hall will be complete and the building's floor will be as white and pristine as the landscape in a Christmas postcard. The ongoing operation, which consists of coating 6,500 square metres of floor with epoxy resin, is part of the strategy to keep the ITER components as clean as possible throughout the whole process of unpacking, pre-assembly and integration.

A hard, perfectly smooth floor that will resist erosion is one of the main conditions for achieving cleanliness in the Assembly Hall. (Click to view larger version...)
A hard, perfectly smooth floor that will resist erosion is one of the main conditions for achieving cleanliness in the Assembly Hall.
After leaving storage, and while still on their dedicated transport platforms, the largest components will be submitted to a thorough cleaning process in the antechamber of the Assembly Hall, the Cleaning Facility.

Once in the Assembly Hall proper, the assembly teams have to ensure that the components are not contaminated by dust or other impurities that could alter assembly precision or, when the machine enters operation, plasma performance.

Pouring and spreading 24 tonnes of epoxy resin over a 6,500-square-metre surface—bucket after bucket. (Click to view larger version...)
Pouring and spreading 24 tonnes of epoxy resin over a 6,500-square-metre surface—bucket after bucket.
A first, simple and obvious step is to have a hard, perfectly smooth floor that will resist erosion.

In mid-October workers began pouring and spreading a thick layer of epoxy resin on the first of the four patches delimited on the building's floor. The mirror-like coating is robust enough to withstand the weight of the self-propelled transporters that will deliver the largest components to the crane hooks.

The first of the four patches was finalized last week, in time for the upcoming delivery of the first elements of the "upending tool," which will be used during the pre-assembly operations of vacuum vessel sectors.

By Christmas, 24 tonnes of epoxy resin will have been poured and spread, covering the entire 6,500 square-metre surface of the Assembly Hall.


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