Download Full Text (1.5 MB)


Liquid Metal Fast Reactor (LMFR) utilizing liquid metal as a coolant is still being considered for future nuclear energy. In this concept, transporting liquid metal still poses many challenges in engineering design and material detection and accountability. In this senior design project, the team has been exploring a design and optimization of a molten metal loop driven by an electromagnetic pump. Here, a manometer type solution was deemed the best method to achieve meaningful results. Transparent Pyrex tubing was selected for the manometers, as the visual column difference would indicate pressure differences. Tin was selected for the working fluid, and an array of solutions were considered for the metering fluid. Mercury, bismuth, and lead were all considered, but ruled out for technical and safety reasons. It was determined that argon gas would work best as it is non-reactive at a high operating temperature and relatively safe. A pressurizer system was designed and built to combat forced cavitation in the loop due to argon. The loop was built with the ability to see the differential pressure as determined through a difference in tin column heights. If this is achieved, then the possible incorporation of a laser induced breakdown spectroscopy system will be incorporated to analyze the different compositions (contaminations) of the molten metal in the loop completing material safeguarding concept. A new port will be added to the loop for implementation of the quartz window in anticipation of future use of the system.

Publication Date



Mechanical and nuclear engineering, Electromagnetic, Pump, Molten metal


Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Supathorn Phongikaroon

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Design and Optimization of a Molten Metal Loop Driven by an Electromagnetic Pump