The determination of the thermal conductivity of breeder materials is one of the main goal in order to find the best candidate material for the fusion reactor technology.
Experimental tests have been and will be carried out with a dedicated experimental devices, built at the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering of the University of Pisa. The methodological approach used in doing that is characterized by two main phases strictly interrelated each other: the first one focused on the experimental evaluation of thermal conductivity of a ceramic material, by means of hot wire method, to be subsequently used in the second phase, based on the test rig method, to determine the thermal conductivity of pebble bed material. To the purpose, two different experimental devices have been designed and built. This paper deals with the first phase of the methodology.
In this framework, the equipment set up and built to perform Hot wire tests, the ceramic material (a cylinder of alumina), the experimental procedure and the measured results obtained varying the temperature, are presented and discussed. The experimental campaign has been lead from 50°C up to 400°C.
The thermal conductivity of the ceramic material at different bulk temperatures has been obtained in stationary conditions (detected on the basis of the temperature values measured during the experiment). Numerical analyses have been also performed by means of FEM code Ansys©. The numerical results were in quite good agreement with the experimental one, confirming also the reliability of code in reproducing heat transfer phenomena.