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Microdilatometers for Radiation Swelling Investigations

#G-406


Development and Creation of Microdilatometers for Investigation of Radiation Swelling of Metals and Alloys

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-INS/Nuclear Instrumentation/Fission Reactors
  • INS-MEA/Measuring Instruments/Instrumentation

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
21.09.1999

Leading Institute
Tbilisi State University / Institute of Physics (Ge), Georgia, Tbilisi

Project summary

The goal of the proposed project is the development and creation of microdilatometers for investigation of radiation swelling of metals and alloys.

Phenomenon of radiation swelling consisting in the increase volume increase of irradiated materials is explained by appearance and evaluation of vacancy and/or gaseous voids in the material. The result of this phenomenon induce an abrupt decrease of strength of reactor structural materials, which are very important for providing the safety of nuclear reactors.

A lot of theoretical and experimental works have been carried out for studying this phenomenon for the last several decades. It was established, in outline, how the growth of voids depends on the damage rate, fluence and temperature of irradiation. However, this process depends also critically on the type, composition, structure, etc. of the irradiated material; and any specific material has its own quantitative characteristics of the growth of voids. At present, a new theory of simulation and modeling techniques is developed at LLNL, giving possibility to understand completely and to predict the consequences of the interaction between the radiation and material of all type. However, for the verification of validity of the theoretical simulation, the experiments should be carried out under the conditions greatly similar to the conditions considered in simulation, i.e. to measure the radiation swelling (the change of geometrical dimensions) of very thin metal films (with the thickness of several micrometers) in the process of their ion irradiation.

In this project we will develop and create various nontraditional versions of high-sensitive microdilatometers (capacitance, optical and X-ray diffraction) by means of which it will be possible to measure the changes of the length of thin metal films (Cu, Au) directly in the process of their irradiation by a-particles and heavy ions.

The operation of microdilatometers will be tested on the ion accelerator and the most optimal version will be chozen for investigation in situ of radiation swelling of thin metal films in various regimes of their irradiation (type and energy of charged particles, fluxes and fluences, temperature of irradiation):

(1) a-particles, heavy ions;

(2) energy of ions - 30 keV to 5 MeV (it is possible to increase the ion energy up to several tens of MeV);

(3) fluxes of charged particles - Ј 1012 cm-2sec-1 ;

(4) temperature of irradiation and measurement of dilatation of the investigated sample in situ – 77 to 700 K.


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