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Fusion Engineering and Design 88 (2013) 18811885

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Fusion Engineering and Design


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/fusengdes

The ITER EC H&CD upper launcher: Design, analysis and testing of a bolted joint
for the Blanket Shield Module
Robby Gessner a, , Gaetano Aiello a , Giovanni Grossetti a , Andreas Meier a , Dennis Ronden b , Peter Spaeh a ,
Theo Scherer a , Sabine Schreck a , Dirk Strauss a , Alessandro Vaccaro a
a
b

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Applied Materials, P.O. Box 3640, D-76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
DIFFER Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Physics, P.O. Box 1207, NL-3430 BE Nieuwegein, The Netherlands

h i g h l i g h t s





The BSM of the ECH Launcher is attached to the Launcher Main Frame by a bolted joint.
The bolts were designed as captive in order to avoid their accidental removal from the joint.
The bolted ange connection using two sets of 15 captive bolts (M22 2) placed along the sides.
The captive bolt design is based on a concept that uses a dedicated spring ring, a standard spiral spring and a tensioning screw with two threads to
secure the bolts in a form-locking stop.

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Available online 23 February 2013
Keywords:
ITER
ECRH
Upper port plug
Mechanical engineering
In-vessel-components
Remote handling
Design
CATIA

a b s t r a c t
The nal design of the structural system for the ITER EC H&CD upper launcher is in progress. Many
design features of the preliminary design are under revision with the aim to achieve the built-to-printstatus. This paper deals with design and analysis of a bolted joint for the Blanket Shield Module with
special perspective on Remote Handling capability. The BSM of the ECH Launcher is attached to the
Launcher Main Frame by a bolted joint conceived so that in the Hot Cell Facility, RH maintenance can be
performed on internal components. The joint must be capable to resist very high Electro-Magnetic loads
from disruptions, while it has to sustain substantial thermal cycling during operation. Thus the need for
a rigid and reliable design is essential. Beside the set of pre-stressed bolts the anges were therefore
equipped with additional shear keys to divert radial moments away from the bolts. Main focus of the
work performed was the mechanical design of the joint and the assessment of the structural integrity
with respect to the loads applied and its capability for maintenance by RH procedures. To fulll a major
aspect of the RH requirements, the bolts were designed as captive in order to avoid their accidental
removal from the joint. The captive bolt design is based on a concept that uses a dedicated spring ring,
a standard spiral spring and a tensioning screw with two threads to secure the bolts in a form-locking
stop. The nal approval phase of the RH compatibility foresees simulations in Virtual Reality and physical
tests on prototypes.
2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
The plasma of ITER will be heated and stabilized, among others,
by high power electromagnetic waves at the Electron Cyclotron
Resonance, injected by four Upper Launchers (ECH-UL) [1]. These
launchers penetrate the vacuum vessel and consist of the Blanket
Shield Module (BSM), which is situated in its front, and the Main
Frame (MF) with internal shielding. The BSM houses a set of mirrors
and must give way to the micro-wave beams. Its structure must be

Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 721 608 23674.


E-mail address: robby.gessner@kit.edu (R. Gessner).
0920-3796/$ see front matter 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fusengdes.2013.01.090

extensively cooled and mechanically strong. To allow maintenance


of the BSM and of particular launcher internals, the two units
are connected with a bolted joint. Due to radiation effects, the
bolt connection must be removable by Remote Handling (RH)
procedures. The bolt design, which has to meet the demands on
mechanical strength, has to be captive and remotely replaceable,
will be outlined here.
2. Conceptual design of the BSM ange connection
The BSM of the ECH-UL is mounted to the MF via a bolted ange
connection using two sets of 15 captive bolts (M22 2) placed along
the sides. The pair of anges is equipped with shear keys at the

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R. Gessner et al. / Fusion Engineering and Design 88 (2013) 18811885

Fig. 2. Temperature history in the bolt during the rst four power pulses starting
from hot stand-by at 100 C.
Fig. 1. Front and side view of the ange connection between the BSM and the MF.
The captive bolts are aligned along the sides of the anges (15 bolts per side). A shear
key ensures the correct positioning of the anges before pre-tensioning the bolts.

four sides for BSM alignment. The keys with a depth of 30 mm are
shaped as to allow removal of the BSM along the launcher axis.
This operation must be carried out with caution in order to avoid
damage to the rst shielding stage, cooling pipes, focusing mirrors,
Steering Mirror Assembly (SMA) and to the BSM itself. The mean
thickness of the anges (normal to the interface) is 100 mm. The
lateral or vertical width varies between 80 and 110 mm matching
the adjacent double-walls thickness. The ange is made of 316L(N)IG SS. Two different views of the ange connection are shown in
Fig. 1. In order to loosen the bolts, pin holes are located between
the threaded holes in the front ange to take up the torque applied
from the bolt runner, which must be decoupled from the arm of the
RH device. Side pin holes located on the sides of the BSM ange will
be used by a grabber to hold the BSM structure during its removal
[2].
3. Mechanical (EM) loads from disruptions and VDEs
The bolts and shear keys will be loaded from mechanical and
thermal loads. The rst ones will be mainly produced from EM
forces and moments acting on the BSM during disruptions and
VDEs and they must be compensated for, by pre-loading the bolts.
The analysis [3] provided maximum resultant moments (M) and
forces (F), acting on the center of the BSM, in radial (x), toroidal (y)
and poloidal (z) directions, see Table 1. The transformation of these
resultant loads into tension forces to be taken up by individual bolts
is conducted by use of a simple model:
Due to the negative sign, the radial component Fx is taken up by
the bolts.
Table 1
Acting forces and moments at the ECH-UL.

The toroidal component Fy , the poloidal component Fz as well as


radial component Mx is taken up by the shear keys and does not
add loads to the bolts.
The toroidal component My is substituted by a pair of forces acting
on the toroidal sections of the anges (tension on one side, compression on the opposite side) with lz being the mean distance
between bottom and top side of the anges.
As above, the poloidal component Mz acting on the anges with
the lever arm ly , which is the mean distance of the two sets of
bolts.
By use of Eq. (1), the resulting tension force per bolt FEM from
EM loadings can be calculated as follows:
FEM =

Force (MN)

(x)
(y)
(z)

0.392
0.096
0.907

Moment (MNm)

Radial
Toroidal
Poloidal

(x)
(y)
(z)

0.676
0.412
0.258

(1)

With the values of Table 1, the amount of bolts (n) and the
distances lz , respectively ly , we get a bolt load FEM = 0.061 MN.
Due to temperature changes in the assembly relative to room
temperature, the pre-load in the bolts FN will change. In order to
ensure contact of the anges at all times, including disruptions, it
must be required that the smallest conceivable value of FN must be
greater than the EM load (FEM ).
Fig. 2 shows the simulated temperature evolution in the bolts
during the rst four power pulses. In each pulse the thermal power
ramps up from zero to full power within 100 s, stays constant at full
power for 500 s, ramps down to zero for 100 s, and stays at zero until
the next cycle starts every 2000 s [4]. Therefore, the extremes of the
thermal load, Qimin and Qimax are calculated in [5]. At the beginning
of a power pulse which starts from hot stand-by the anges and
bolts are at about 100 C. Thus we have Qimin = 0.018 MN. Likewise,
the largest thermal load is obtained during baking at 240 C, which
is Qimax = 0.052 MN.
Due to uncertainties in achieving target value of FN (friction,
torque measurement), the safety factor SN > 0 is added to Eq. (2).

BSM
Radial
Toroidal
Poloidal

My
Mz
Fx
+
+
2n
lz n
ly n

FN =

FEM Qi min
1 SN

(2)

With the values above and an assumed uncertainty SN = 0.2


for torque control during assembly, the nominal bolt pre-load is
FN = 0.054 MN. On the other hand, the bolt layout and mechanical assessment must be performed for the maximum bolt load

R. Gessner et al. / Fusion Engineering and Design 88 (2013) 18811885

achievable, i.e. the design bolt load N. Therefore the equation of


RCC-MR A6.4250 [6] is applicable:
N = Qi max +

Ka Kb
Ka

+ Kb

Ka + Kb
FN
Ka Kb

1883

Table 2
Tensile stress results.
Tensile stress (MPa)

Calculated
stress

Allowable
limit

Ratio
calc./allow.

Bolt shank ( t )

364

542

0.68

(3)

Eq. (3) gives for the bolt design load N = 0.103 MN.
4. Tensile stress, shear stress and contact pressure limits

Table 3
Shear stress results.
Shear stress (MPA)

Screw threads
(fN )

Head of screw
(tN )

Rear insert threads


in rear ange (fH )

Calculated stress
Allowable limit
Ratio calc./allow.

144
217
0.67

63
217
0.29

58
74
0.79

As the conditions of the negligible thermal creep test are satised the low temperature rules for bolted joints according to IC 3825
(ITER Structural Design Criteria for In-vessel Components SDCIC) are applicable. In particular, the rules for the prevention of
M-type damage of criteria levels A and C must be met. These rules
are formulated in IC 3835 to prevent immediate excessive plastic deformation (leading to loss of bolt preload) and fast fracture
[7]. The latter will not be considered here as it can be ruled out by
experiments. To prevent loss of bolt preload due to immediate plastic deformation, the following limits have to be satised at all times
during the life time of a bolt subjected to all loadings represented by
the design bolt load N used above. The allowable membrane stress
Sm and the minimum yield strength Sy (functions of temperature
(Tm )) under irradiated conditions are used for the calculation:

Table 4
Contact pressure results.

(a) Maximum allowable tensile stress of the bolt material Inconel


718 according to IC 3841.2 for Sm (Tm ) = Sm (240 C)

6. The captive bolt design

t 1.5 Sm (Tm ) = 542 MPa


where Sm (Tm ) = Sm (240 C) = 361 MPa for the bolt material, i.e.
Alloy 718.
(b) Maximum allowable shear stress of the ange material
316L(N)-IG according to IC 3841.3 for Sm (Tm ) = Sm (240 C)
fN 0.6 Sm (Tm ) = 74 MPa
where Sm (Tm ) = Sm (240 C) = 123 MPa for the weaker material,
i.e. the 316L(N)-IG.
(c) Maximum allowable shear stress of the bolt material Inconel
718 according to IC 3841.3 for Sm (Tm ) = Sm (240 C).
tN 0.6 Sm (Tm ) = 217 MPa
(d) Maximum allowable contact pressure of the ange material
316L(N)-IG according to IC 3841.3 for Sy (Tm ) = Sy (240 C)
pN
, pN
t2 Sy (Tm ) = 137 MPa
f
where Sy (Tm ) = Sy (240 C) = 137 MPa for the weaker material,
i.e. the 316L(N)-IG
(e) Maximum allowable contact pressure of the bolt material
Inconel 718 according to IC 3841.3 for Sy (Tm ) = Sy (240 C)
pN
t1 Sy (Tm ) = 805 MPa
where Sy (Tm ) = Sy (240 C) = 805 MPa for the bolt material, i.e.
Alloy 718.
5. Tensile stress, shear stress and contact pressure
evaluation
Comparing the calculated stresses [5] in Tables 24 with the
allowable limits from Section 4 it can be seen that all limits are satised, so the present layout of the BSM/launcher structure xation
does comply with the SDC-IC rules [7].

Contact pressure Screw threads


(MPA)
in rear insert
(pN
)
f

Head of
Front
Rear insert
screw/front insert/ange threads in rear
ange (pH
) (pN
)
)
insert (pN
t1
t2
f

Calculated stress 132


Allowable limit
805
Ratio calc./allow. 0.17

227
805
0.29

100
137
0.73

53
137
0.39

During operation of ITER all in-vessel components get activated


by radiation and contaminated with radioactive and toxic materials. Due to that reason the maintenance of these components
cannot directly be done by humans without protection. This creates high demands on the bolts, which have to fulll specic RH
requirements [8]:
1. Meet the structural specications.
2. Be xed in order to avoid loosening during ITER operation. Minimum number of loose parts.
3. Be vacuum compatible, blind holes with pumping channel.
4. Be captive, integrated in the component and remain in position
after disassembly.
5. Be designed such that the status of the loosening procedure can
be checked visually.
6. Be kept aligned to the hole center line when the bolt is in loose
position.
7. Be handled easily and the Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) should
be as short as possible; minimal number of bolts.
8. Be designed such all mechanical actions must be kept as simple
as possible and fully RH compatible.
9. Be provided with a repair plan for a bolt construction failure
(broken bolt, cold welding).
In order to ensure the loosening and securing of the bolts, socalled captive bolts as shown in Fig. 3, are used. These are in
contrast to standard cap screws pre-stressed by a spiral spring
so that the loosening is possible by a manipulator. Between the
front and rear ange, a free space is visible. If the bolt is loosened
but shall not be completely removed, this is the range in which a
free movement is possible. The rst thread within the front ange
prevents the bolt from falling out accidentally. The side-mounted
cylinder bores (torque transducer) are used to hold the tightening
torque of the screwdriver, since most manipulators can accommodate only small forces. Because of the minimal available space,
the bolts are inclined by about 10 relative to the ange surface
and made of the high-temperature resistant material Inconel 718.
To keep the shear forces and the contact pressure at an acceptable level inserts will be used in the front and rear ange. A rst

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R. Gessner et al. / Fusion Engineering and Design 88 (2013) 18811885

Fig. 3. Captive bolt design as assembly and draft.

Fig. 4. Bolting steps unlocked secured locked.

assessment of the bolted connection was made and is presented in


Tables 24.
7. Bolting steps
Inside each threaded hole is positioned a spring, a front and a
rear insert. Since the bolts are manufactured from a different material than the ange (Inconel 718 instead of 316L), inserts (see Fig. 4)
are used to lower the stresses on the ange, consisting of the weaker
material, to preserve it from damage and ensuring its longer lifetime. In the left picture the unlocked state is illustrated. The spring
is relaxed and has its full length. The middle shows the secured
state, which represents the most interesting stage. The spring is
stretched and presses with the front insert the bolt against the
screw direction. In this way, the complete separation between the
bolts and the rear ange is ensured. Furthermore, it is possible to
intervene in the rst thread of the front ange, what is necessary
for replacing the bolts. The right section shows the locked position. In this case the spring is at its most compressed position and
acts against the pre-loading force. Since the spring forces are very

small compared to the pre-load forces, this can be neglected for the
design.
8. Conclusion and next steps
The preliminary bolt connection of the ITER EC H&CD upper
launcher was revised with respect to codes and standards and
aligned to the current requirements. To verify the captive bolt
design a prototype was sketched and manufactured. It will be used
for several strength tests and bolting studies. Analyses of the RH
compatibility, for instance a Virtual Reality (VR) simulation, are
planned. Based on these test results the evaluation of the BSM
connection will be made.
Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the European Communities under
the contract of Association between EURATOM and KIT and by the
German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF). The views and

R. Gessner et al. / Fusion Engineering and Design 88 (2013) 18811885

opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reect those of the


BMBF or the European Commission.
References
[1] M. Henderson, Overview of the ITER EC upper launcher, Nuclear Fusion 48
(2008), 054013 (14 pp.).
[2] G. Grossetti, Maintenance of the BSM: Vertical Remote Handling, Technical Note
WP10-GOT-GOTRH (2012).
[3] A. Vaccaro, et al., The ITER EC H&CD Upper Launcher: EM Disruption Analyses,
26th SOFT Conference, Liege, 2012.

1885

[4] K. Kleefeldt, Stress Assessment of the Bolted Joint BSM/Launcher Structure, KIT
Note 317, 2009.
[5] R. Gessner, Designintegration und Strategieentwurf zur ferngesteuerten Manipulation fr die Schraubverbindung eines Abschirmmoduls, Bachelor Thesis,
2012.
[6] AFCEN, Design and Construction Rules for Mechanical Components of Nuclear
Installations, RCC-MR, Paris, 2007.
[7] P. Smith, G. Kalinin, et al., ITER Structural Design Criteria for In-vessel Components v3a.0 (SDC-IC), 2012, External Reference G 74 MA 8 01-05-28 W
0.2.
[8] F. Vreede, Captive bolts in BSM, Doc nr: ITER-NL-WP2-PPT-003, 2008.