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    Wire Tensile Testing for Radiation-Hardening Experiments


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    Techniques have been developed for preparing, irradiating, and conducting tensile tests on small-diameter (0.25 to 0.5 mm) wire specimens to determine the effects of high-energy neutron and proton irradiation on mechanical properties. Gage sections were produced electrolytically, and the tensile tests were conducted in an Instron tensile testing machine using a fixture designed to maintain axial alignment and to allow for easy loading of the fragile specimens.

    Nickel, niobium, vanadium, and titanium wire specimens were irradiated with T(d,n) neutrons, Be(d,n) neutrons, or 16-MeV protons to fluence levels ranging from 0.2 to 30 × 1021 m−2. The tensile data indicated that yield strength measurements can provide a reliable method of evaluating the hardening produced by high-energy particle irradiations. The precision of the yield strength data ranged from 0.03 to 0.18, depending on radial flux gradients, material grain size, and wire diameter. Greater variations were observed in the elongation and strain-hardening data; these variations were attributed to the tapered gage sections produced by electropolishing. Tensile elongation and work hardening were also strongly dependent on specimen diameter; thus, these properties from small-diameter wire specimens should be used with caution.


    wire tensile tests, fusion, neutrons, protons, radiation hardening, tensile properties

    Author Information:

    Bradley, ER
    Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA

    Jones, RH
    Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP33003S