East Metal, one of Denmark's leading suppliers of heavy complex steel constructions, can thereby add a distinguished name to its list of clients. ESS (European Spallation Source) is a multi-disciplinary research facility with the world's most powerful neutron source. The purpose of ESS is to apply neutron scattering techniques to enable researchers to work on a large number of research areas. These include chemistry, nanotechnology, energy and environmental technologies, foodstuffs, bio- and medicinal science, materials science, engineering and archaeology.
Photo: ESS (Courtesy of ESS, Lund)
The European Spallation Source (ESS) is a strong neutron source, popularly called a neutron microscope, which uses neutrons to investigate materials. Construction of the research facility, which will have the most powerful linear proton accelerator ever built, is underway and will cost around EUR 1.84 billion (approximately DKK 13.5 billion).
Proton acceleration takes place in a tunnel that is over 500 m in length and utilises magnetic fields and superconductors, with temperatures down to -271°C, so that particles move at almost the speed of light.
The accelerated particle flow is directed to a Target station – the heart of ESS, where the production of neutrons takes place. During the process, ionising radiation is generated. This means that secure protective elements must be supplied, including very thick concrete walls and floors. The concrete foundation and surrounding concrete structures for the so-called ESS Target Station and its monolith will have a number of penetrations. These must be provided with extra steel sheaths to ensure the necessary radiation protection.
The first task to be undertaken by East Metal involves production of a steel shield construction, with finishing work performed at the construction site. This must then be encased in the concrete foundation for the ESS monolith, which surrounds and shields the ECHIR (ESS Chip Irradiation) installation.
The steel construction weights approximately 75 tonnes of the total order of 150 tonnes.
A subsequent task for East Metal is the manufacture and delivery of steel shield material to be encased in the concrete wall above the entrance to the proton beam pipe in the ESS monolith.
"We are honoured to have been chosen as a sub-contractor and to be involved in part of the Target construction at a facility of this size. It is a recognition of our capabilities to be invited to contribute to one of the world's leading research facilities – one that can make a significant difference to international research. We hope this will help underscore East Metal's competence and that it will lead to more opportunities in this particular market", says Bent Juul Larsen, CEO of the East Metal group.