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    Vacuum Systems for Dynamic Studies of the Engineering Properties of Materials During Exposure to Nuclear Reactor Irradiation

    Published: Jan 1964

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    An experimental assembly has been developed for simulating both the nuclear-reactor radiation and the space environment to which engineering materials will be exposed during flights in nuclear-powered space vehicles to altitudes of 150 miles. Vacuum systems accepting gas loads exceeding 3000 liters per sec at 10−6 torr have been designed and constructed for dynamic studies of the engineering properties of materials during exposure to radiation from the Ground Test Reactor (GTR) at General Dynamics Corp., Fort Worth (GD/FW). The vacuum-irradiation systems have a test volume 20 in. in diameter and 30 in. high in which specimens may be subjected to doses of gamma photons up to 109 ergs per g (C) per hr gamma and 5 × 1010 neutrons per sq cm per sec (E > 2.9 Mev). The system's operational characteristics, growth capabilities, shielding requirements, and associated hardware for dynamic monitoring of lubricant efficiency and moduli properties of materials are discussed, together with the engineering experience accumulated to date.

    Author Information:

    Hill, O. H.
    General Dynamics Corp., Fort Worth, Tex.

    Kerlin, E. E.
    General Dynamics Corp., Fort Worth, Tex.

    Smith, E. T.
    General Dynamics Corp., Fort Worth, Tex.

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.05

    DOI: 10.1520/STP47058S

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