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Jun. 13, 2022Topics
【Press Release】
Joint development of uniform thin-film plating technology for MI cables for the experimental fusion reactor (ITER)

We, Okazaki Manufacturing Company, in collaboration with the National Institute of Quantum Science and Technology (NIST) and Teikoku-ion CO., LTD, have developed a uniform, high-precision, thin-film plating technology for the fabrication of microfission chamber neutron measurement equipment to be procured by Japan for the experimental fusion reactor (ITER) under construction in the South of France. A press announcement was made after the successful development of this technology.

The said neutron measurement equipment is an important device for evaluating the power output of ITER, but due to the high temperature and high radiation environment, normal cables such as rubber or vinyl cannot be used, and MI cables (cables using inorganic insulation) must be used. On the other hand, ITER requires the injection of heating microwaves into the plasma to maintain operating conditions, and part of these microwaves overheat the MI cables, causing damage, which has been a major problem. One way to overcome this problem is to apply copper plating to the MI cables, which reduces microwave overheating, but the challenge is that the thicker the plating, the more susceptible it becomes to different forces, namely electromagnetic forces. For this reason, ITER requires a precise and uniform thin film (5 microns ± 1 micron) of copper plating over the entire length of the MI cable surface, but this technology did not exist.
The three companies therefore worked together to develop a new plating technology. As a result, a new rotary plating machine was developed to enable uniform plating operations and high-precision plating thickness control was achieved using this machine, resulting in high-precision copper plating that satisfies ITER's performance requirements.

  • Briefing Session
  • New Rotary Plating Machine

As this new plating technology has potential applications not only in nuclear fusion research, but also in a wide range of fields requiring high-precision plating, such as waveguides for particle accelerators used in the medical field, a patent application was filed and the patent was granted in June 2021 (Patent No. 6893001).
Oct. 02, 2017Topics
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