Profile frame for research

Neckarwestheim, February 2020: At the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), the custom-made frame designed by Bauer Profiltechnik, a specialist for solutions based on innovative materials, forms an essential basis for the implementation of research projects on future electricity generation.

The ASDEX Upgrade project at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), based in Garching near Munich, is not just a "hot thing" for the researchers involved. The Tokamak plant "Axial Symmetric Divertor Experiment Upgrade" (ASDEX Upgrade), which went into operation in 1991, is one of the two largest German test plants for the development of fusion reactors and is one of the most important fusion experiments of the institute founded in 1960. The system is intended to investigate core questions of fusion research with plasma under conditions similar to power plants and to develop the relevant physical foundations for future electricity generation in nuclear fusion power plants. In the plant with a radius of five meters and a total weight of 800 tons, the plasma is heated up to 27 megawatts. "On this basis, we are researching processes, among other things, to keep a plasma jet around 100 million degrees stable and to make it predictable", explains IPP scientist Dr. Albrecht Herrmann. "The highest precision and the greatest possible flexibility are required."

Extensive conversion measures in the plasma vessel are necessary for a project to expand the examination options with ASDEX Upgrade. Since this is a completely new development, it is important to test the components, their dimensional accuracy and also mountability in advance in order to keep the actual assembly time in the ASDEX Upgrade plasma vessel as problem-free as possible and thus as short as possible. For this purpose, the fastening points in the vacuum vessel and required for assembly should be simulated in an assembly test stand.
The research institute has commissioned Bauer Profiltechnik GmbH, based in Neckarwestheim, to develop and implement a corresponding support frame, which on the one hand provides the necessary stability for exact positioning of the devices and components and on the other hand the necessary flexibility for their exchange or change of position. "Bauerprofiltechnik impressed with an intelligent design that is precisely tailored to our requirements thanks to the innovative processing of the profile systems used and will continue to offer us maximum flexibility in the arrangement of devices and components," explains IPP manager Thomas Vierle. Bauer Profiltechnik is a specialist in the development of solutions for individually tailored workstations in logistics, industry and research and is one of the pioneers in the innovative use of special profile systems. Based on this, and with its proven know-how in terms of variance in material, design and possible applications, Bauer Profiltechnik realizes projects that optimize user processes and increase efficiency in assembly, order and shipping production.

This also applies to the tokama experiment ASDEX Upgrade from the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics. Bauer Profiltechnik developed an innovative, 3.50 m high and 4.5 m wide frame that holds the necessary fastening points and thus enables the new components to be tested with a total weight of 2 t. The carrier system is a 16-sided polygon. The constructors from Bauer Profiltechnik assembled 8 x 32 connections from 90 x 90 mm thick profile struts at an exact angle of 11.25 degrees each. Due to the high requirements of the IPP, a tolerance of less than one millimeter was required. "Even for us, the result is a little masterpiece," says Uwe Wehle, Managing Director of Bauer Profiltechnik GmbH. "16 corners, that means 32 miter cuts with an angular accuracy of 11.25 degrees each - that is 11 degrees, 2 minutes and 5 seconds". "In view of the large number of connections and the dimensions of the angle division, this is really, really precise. Thanks to the modular and strut-like design in which we designed and manufactured the frame, the carrier model is also extremely flexible in terms of adaptation, adjustment or expansion without special tools and combined with enormous time savings. ”The carrier system also fulfills future-oriented requirements an essential investment requirement of the IPP. After all, the research project is designed for a development period of up to 40 years. "There can be a lot of changes in the technologies of the devices and components used and an exchange may be necessary," explains Wehle.

The 2.8-ton frame was transported to Garching by special transport, and final assembly was finally carried out at the IPP in December last year. From the first to the last work step, the material was continuously processed at a temperature of 20 degrees. "In this way, we were able to achieve a tolerance accuracy of 0.5 mm and align the frame in Garching to within two millimeters," explains Wehle. The devices and components of the new project have been installed in the support frame of Bauer Profiltechnik since the beginning of 2020. "With the polygon for the IPP, we realized a project that illustrates the far-reaching construction options and possible uses of profile frame solutions," summarizes Wehle. "Such custom-made products can be used for almost every work and task area in every industry and optimize the processes there. The range of services offered by Bauer Profiltechnik goes beyond the design and implementation of the solution and also encompasses the entire scope of after-sales services - worldwide. This means that customers of Bauer Profiltechnik can not only rely on the optimization potential provided by the solution, but also on the future viability of their investment and a long-term partnership with Bauer Profiltechnik."

bauer-profiltechnik news-press 2020
bauer-profiltechnik news-press 2020