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Neutron radiography is a nondestructive testing technique similar to X-radiography that can have important advantages in many specific situations. Large thicknesses of some dense metals can be penetrated; high sensitivity can be obtained for small details containing hydrogen and certain other light elements; materials of similar density can be contrasted: and highly radioactive objects can be neutron radiographed without interference from the gamma radiation. During the decade 1965 to 1975, industrial application of neutron radiography has grown rapidly due to (1) availability of suitable neutron sources, (2) advancements of the techniques, and (3) widening appreciation of the capabilities. Over 100 centers are now performing neutron radiography. Most use neutron beams of predominantly thermal energy from a nuclear reactor source, but there are examples of different techniques, some using different neutron energies, and some using accelerator or isotopic neutron sources.
neutron radiography, nondestructive tests, radiation tests
Associate professor, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.