Fusion Breakthrough as Near-Limitless Energy Comes Closer to Reality (Pandora Dewan, Dec 15, 2023, Newsweek)

“The fusion community is urgently looking for new manufacturing approaches to economically produce large plasma-facing components in fusion reactors,” Ialovega said.

The team’s technology uses a cold spray process to deposit a coating of the metal tantalum on the stainless steel surface of the reactor. This metal can withstand the superhot temperatures of the reactor, and is also great at absorbing hydrogen.

“We discovered that the cold spray tantalum coating absorbs much more hydrogen than bulk tantalum because of the unique microstructure of the coating,” Kumar Sridharan, a professor of nuclear engineering and engineering physics and materials science and engineering at UW-Madison, said in a statement.

Cold spray technology is similar to using a can of spray paint.