Amanda Field - Midlands

Amanda graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2015 with a BEng in Materials Science and Technology and was awarded the Sir Horace Clarke prize for all Round Merit in Final Examinations. She is now in the second year of her PhD with AMPLab at the University of Birmingham working with UK Atomic Energy Authority on the Additive Manufacture of Refractory Metals and Alloys for use in a Nuclear Fusion Reactor. For this, she is investigating Selective Laser Melting as a potential means of producing improved divertor type components.

Amanda's work has been affiliated with the European AMAZE project (Additive Manufacturing Aiming Towards Zero Waste and Efficient Production of High-Tech Metal Products), and her work has been presented at conferences including MS&T and TMS. Amanda has also been lucky enough to be involved with an experimental parabolic flight campaign in Bordeaux, France for the European Space Agency where a demonstrator device was used to 3D print metal in zero gravity.

Amanda is a STEM ambassador and also enjoys lab demonstrating for the undergraduate students. She was also the president of the Birmingham University Materials Society. In her spare time she enjoys baking and days out with friends.

Additive manufacturing for nuclear fusion

Additive manufacturing, particularly Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and its suitability for the fusion industry will be covered in this talk. Additive manufacturing is a netshape process whereby material is deposited, and melted layer-by-layer to build up a final component.

Complex internal geometries can be produced allowing for weight savings and design improvements. However, there is a need for material specific optimisation which slows progress. The technique is now well understood for weldable metallic materials such as nickel and aluminium. By contrast, brittle, high melting point materials like tungsten pose a greater challenge.

Tungsten is a candidate material for nuclear fusion; it can withstand high heat loads and irradiation doses and does not require long term nuclear waste storage after use. However, oxygen segregation and rapid cooling rates cause problems with cracking. Future work will investigate the possibility of liquid phase alloying, and producing complex cooling channels advantageous to plasma-facing components.


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