2nd Friday Innovation Drink: 3D-printed Heat Pipe Array for Fusion

Introduction talk:
ITER, the largest magnetic fusion reactor so far, is currently under construction and is expected to produce its first plasma in 2025. It will explore the regime of a burning plasma, the condition necessary for net electricity production, but the reaction will only be partly self-sustained. In order to demonstrate a fully self-sustained burning plasma, the aptly named DEMO reactor is planned. However, ITER is already pushing the limits of conventional technology to handle the heat flux at the most critical region called the divertor.

The DEMO reactor will double that heat flux, and conventional methods are not expected to provide adequate protection. A 3D-printed heat pipe array is proposed to protect the DEMO divertor from the burning plasma. This talk will describe the proposal and the results obtained from initial experiments.

16.45h Reception and last minute registration
17.15h Lecture by Nick Maassen
18.15h Networking and drinks
20.00h End of the event

Entree free, registration in advance by the website


Ir. Nick Maassen, PDEng has obtained his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Eindhoven. After his Bachelor, he decided to follow the multidisciplinary Master Science and Technology of Nuclear Fusion, which has kept his interest ever since. At the last day of his graduation project at the JET fusion reactor, during a chat with a colleague, the idea emerged to use heat pipes as plasma facing components in the divertor of a fusion power plant. He came into contact with VDL-ETG and, as part of the PDEng program DTI, he has worked on a 3D-printed heat pipe array for one year. Now he is employed by VDL-ETG where he is looking to continue the project.

Naam en contactgegevens voor informatie

Dirk Jan Vethaak