ASTM E385 - 11

    Standard Test Method for Oxygen Content Using a 14-MeV Neutron Activation and Direct-Counting Technique

    Active Standard ASTM E385 | Developed by Subcommittee: E10.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 12.02


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    Significance and Use

    The conventional determination of oxygen content in liquid or solid samples is a relatively difficult chemical procedure. It is slow and usually of limited sensitivity. The 14-MeV neutron activation and direct counting technique provides a rapid, highly sensitive, nondestructive procedure for oxygen determination in a wide range of matrices. This test method is independent of the chemical form of the oxygen.

    This test method can be used for quality and process control in the metals, coal, and petroleum industries, and for research purposes in a broad spectrum of applications.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the measurement of oxygen concentration in almost any matrix by using a 14-MeV neutron activation and direct-counting technique. Essentially, the same system may be used to determine oxygen concentrations ranging from under 10 μg/g to over 500 mg/g, depending on the sample size and available 14-MeV neutron fluence rates.

    Note 1—The range of analysis may be extended by using higher neutron fluence rates, larger samples, and higher counting efficiency detectors.

    1.2 This test method may be used on either solid or liquid samples, provided that they can be made to conform in size, shape, and macroscopic density during irradiation and counting to a standard sample of known oxygen content. Several variants of this method have been described in the technical literature. A monograph is available which provides a comprehensive description of the principles of activation analysis using a neutron generator (1).

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific precautions are given in Section 8.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E170 Terminology Relating to Radiation Measurements and Dosimetry

    E181 Test Methods for Detector Calibration and Analysis of Radionuclides

    E496 Test Method for Measuring Neutron Fluence and Average Energy from 3H(d,n) 4He Neutron Generators by Radioactivation Techniques


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 27.120.30 (Fissile materials and nuclear fuel technology)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 26142004(Neutron irradiators)


    DOI: 10.1520/E0385-11

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