Finding a way to fusion energy


Sheffield Forgemasters has been tasked with identifying identify routes to manufacture the interior vessel for General Fusion’s demonstration plant.

The facility is an important step to bringing the game-changing benefits of zero-carbon fusion energy to the world. 

The engineering specialist is using its extensive experience and manufacture capabilities in nuclear power to develop a specification and method of manufacture for the forged, thick-walled pressure vessel body, a key component in the proposed Fusion Demonstration Plant.

The Fusion Demonstration Plant will showcase General Fusion’s Magnetized Target Fusion nuclear power technology at the UKAEA’s world-renowned Culham Campus, which is a leading hub of fusion research.

Jesus Talamantes-Silva, Research, Design and Technology Director at Sheffield Forgemasters, said, “Fusion energy has the potential to be the fuel of the future – the key to carbon-free economies. We are thrilled to collaborate with General Fusion.

“Our initial remit includes evaluation of potential steel grades, modelling of forging and heat treatment processes and their effects on microstructure and properties.

“The scale and manufacturing complexity of the vessel presents significant challenges at all stages, which combined with an element of ‘concurrent design’, requires a flexible and responsive approach to the work.”

Sheffield Forgemasters is establishing practical manufacturing solutions for all aspects of manufacture for the vessel, including steelmaking and forging, heat treatment, mechanical and non-destructive testing, machining and metrology.

This work utilises Sheffield Forgemasters’ extensive knowledge and experience relating to the manufacture of pressure vessels and other critical components for nuclear sectors. It also relies on Sheffield Forgemasters’ strengths at developing novel and creative solutions to complex manufacturing challenges.

Sheffield Forgemasters manufactures ultra-heavy bespoke engineered products including castings of up to 350 tonnes and forgings of up to 170 tonnes, produced to the highest specifications and quality standards.

It is a leading innovator in the development of safety-critical castings and forgings to the world’s civil nuclear power generation markets and carries ASME accreditation as a materials supplier.

The company is also a leading supplier of castings to the offshore sector and has designed and manufactured more than 46,000 tonnes of components. The company has operated in the global market for more than 20 years and its products are tried and tested in structures around the world.