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Thermosets and Nuclear Fusion

Thermosets and Nuclear Fusion:

Nuclear fusion, the remarkable process that powers stars - including our very own Sun - has become a viable solution for generating energy without producing greenhouses gases. Fusion reactors also carry no risk of meltdown, unlike their fission counterparts.  As you may imagine, thermosets play a crucial role in the fusion process. Although there are countless opportunities for composites in this process, we will delve into a few of the more common solutions in the following blog:

A good place to start is to answer; ‘What Is Nuclear Fusion?’

Nuclear fusion involves combining two light atomic nuclei (in this case, hydrogen nuclei, each with a single proton) to form a heavier nucleus (commonly helium), accompanied by the release of massive energy. Why? Because the mass of the new helium nucleus is slightly less than the combined mass of the initial hydrogen nuclei, and according to Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc2, this “missing” mass gets converted to energy. In stars, like the Sun, hydrogen collides at extremely high temperatures and pressures, fusing together to create the helium nuclei. The energy released during this process sustains the star’s luminosity and temperature.

So where does Franklin Fibre fit in?

Thermoset composites contribute significantly to various aspects of nuclear fusion technology: 

Plasma Confinement

Fusion reactions occur in a state of matter called plasma, which is a hot, charged gas. Plasma confinement devices, such as tokamaks and stellarators, require rigorous materials for their structural components. Thermoset composites offer excellent mechanical properties, making them suitable for plasma-facing components that endure extreme heat and radiation (For more on the effect radiation exposure has on composites visit our blog on the subject). Magnetic fields, such as inductive resonance can pass through the composite ensuring the transportation of the plasma through the process.

Insulation and Shielding

It may seem obvious, but inside fusion reactors there are regions with intense heat and radiation. In these areas materials like Lamitex® G9, G10 and G11, can serve as effective insulators and radiation shields. They also provide electrical insulation for critical components, preventing short circuits and ensuring safety.

Cryogenic insulation

Some fusion reactors involve cryogenic environments. Thermoset composites can be used for cryogenic insulation due to their low thermal conductivity. Materials like Lamitex® G10CR and G11CR are designed for such conditions, maintaining their integrity even at extremely low temperatures. 

As with all of our materials - these can be custom machined to fit your specific application. To learn more please fill out our request form on the website, or contact us at

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