SOFT Innovation Prize for Alexander von Müller
Tungsten-fibre reinfoced copper: Innovative material for heat sinks / renowned prize of the European Commission
Dr. Alexander von Müller from Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching was awarded third place of the "SOFT Innovation Prize" of the European Commission at the Symposium on Fusion Technology, SOFT 2020 for short, for his contribution on a novel material for highly resilient heat sinks – copper reinforced with interlaced tungsten fibres.
Copper alloys cannot cope with the high heat and neutron loads expected in a fusion power plant. Tungsten fiber-reinforced copper composite materials offer a promising alternative. For production, tungsten fibres are braided and infiltrated with liquid copper at 1200 degrees. Tests under high heat load confirmed the performance of these composite materials, which combine high strength and good thermal conductivity.