9 July 2020

Design and Production of industrial systems

Departure of 6 Pre-Compression Rings in special convoy to ITER’s site

Manufacturing and delivering large composite components with high added value

CNIM delivered to its client,  F4E 6 Pre-Compression Rings, composite rings of 5m-diameter to be used in the ITER device. This is the first convoy of PCRs to delivered to the site of the project in Cadarache.  Carrying more than 20 tons, the three trucks that make up this special convoy left on the 8th of July from our workshops in La Seyne-sur-Mer. Each truck carried 2 PCRs.

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CNIM is responsible for the production of of 10 PCRs after developing a manufacturing process that is unique in the world.. Two other convoys are planned to deliver the last 4 PCRs (summer 2020 and early 2021).

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Composite parts under very high constraints

The PCRs, composite glass/epoxy rings, will withstand very high stresses and a temperature of 4K (-270°C). Those rings are intented to pull tightly the toroidal field coils together and prevent them from fatigue caused by electromagnetic forces.

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Each ring, measuring 5m-in diameter, is manufactured by winding and bonding 2mm-thick and 2,800m long pultruded* material, supplied by our partner EXEL. The PCRs are fired in a large oven/kiln at 65°C for 80 hours. The composite rings are then machined to meet the required tolerances.

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Dry machining of a composite ring in CNIM Industrial Systems’ workshops © CNIM

A specific test bench to validate performances

The function of the rings is to reduce the fatigue and deformation of the toroidal field coils. The PCRs will therefore be subjected to enormous physical stresses. CNIM, in collaboration with Douce Hydro, has set up a specific test bench to qualify and validate the performance of the rings.

This bench called “PCRs Test Facility” generates 36,000 tons of radial load thanks to 36 hydraulic cylinders synchronized to the nearest millimeter. The composite rings are subjected to efforts equivalent to the force it would take to lift four Eiffel Towers!

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PCR test bench at CNIM Industrial Systems’ workshops © CNIM