The Mechanical Techniques group consists of three sections, which take care of the complete process of designing, constructing, and fabrication of mechanical components needed for the experiments. The products range from small, fragile and accurate to rugged and massive, and include ultra-high vacuum systems, mirror beam lines for plasma heating purposes, fast gas shutters and heavy frames to support the experiments.
For the design part, several systems with ‘Catia V5’ are available. ‘Catia’ is the leading solid modeling software used in fusion research. It provides the possibility of building assemblies, automatic generation of workshop drawings and several kinds of analyses. Analyses done are finite element analyses, heat analyses, kinematical analyses and frequency analyses. SmarTeam is used as PDM system. This system makes it possible to keep track of all documents and their status, during the complete design phase. It also gives project leaders and other persons concerned with the project access to these documents.
Workshop and Brazing lab
To manufacture the equipment necessary for scientific research the workshop is equipped with several machines, including CNC-milling and turning machines. The workshop also has a five axis milling machine making it possible to mill multiple curved surfaces. The group also has the knowledge and equipment necessary for vacuum and high temperature brazing and TIG welding. The ‘CAM’ software used as interface between design software and CNC machines is Hypermill.
Although stainless steel and aluminum are the most common materials used, the workshop can handle almost any material, metal or non-metal, to meet the requirements of experiments, e.g. with respect to magnetic properties, electrical insulation, and handling of aggressive fluids and gases. The use of a wide range of different materials in combination with Ultra High Vacuum systems requires well-controlled brazing techniques.
For many years, DIFFER has an outstanding reputation and excellent equipment for all kinds of brazing work. The brazing lab not only works for in-house construction work but has customers from all over the country.
The Mechanical Techniques group offers students the opportunity of doing an always interesting internship within an academic research environment. Students from Dutch technical schools are welcome to participate in our work, with their stay lasting anywhere between a few weeks and a full year. The exact topic of the engineering assignment is often determined in mutual consideration, to get a good match between the student and engineering. Every assignment always contributes to the high quality research of our institute and can consist of designing and/or manufacturing mechanical parts for scientific equipment of example. Positions are available in the Design office and Workshop.
For general information, see the (Dutch language) page on intern positions.