Standard Active Last Updated: Mar 15, 2019
ASTM C791-19

Standard Test Methods for Chemical, Mass Spectrometric, and Spectrochemical Analysis of Nuclear-Grade Boron Carbide

Significance and Use

4.1 Boron carbide is used as a control material in nuclear reactors. In order to be suitable for this purpose, the material must meet certain criteria for assay, isotopic composition, and impurity content. These methods are designed to show whether or not a given material meets the specifications for these items as described in Specifications C750 and C751.

4.1.1 An assay is performed to determine whether the material has the specified boron and carbon content.

4.1.2 Determination of the isotopic content of the boron and the free carbon content is made to establish whether the content is in compliance with the purchaser’s specifications.

4.1.3 Impurity content is determined to ensure that the maximum concentration limit of certain impurities (chloride, fluoride, water, metallic impurities, soluble boron) is not exceeded.


1.1 These test methods cover procedures for the chemical, mass spectrometric, and spectrochemical analysis of nuclear-grade boron carbide powder and pellets to determine compliance with specifications.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.3 The analytical procedures appear in the following order:



Total Carbon by Combustion in an Inductive Furnace and
    Infrared Measurement

8 – 17

Total Boron by Titrimetry and ICP OES

18 – 28

Isotopic Composition by Mass Spectrometry

29 – 33


34 – 41

Chloride by Constant-Current Coulometry

42 – 50

Chloride and Fluoride by Ion-Selective Electrode

51 – 59

Water by Constant-Voltage Coulometry and Weight Loss on

60 – 63

Metallic Impurities by DCArc OES and wet chemical methods

64 and 65

Soluble Boron by Titrimetry and ICP OES

66 – 80

Free Carbon by a Coulometric Method

81 – 90

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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Book of Standards Volume: 12.01
Developed by Subcommittee: C26.03
Pages: 28
DOI: 10.1520/C0791-19
ICS Code: 27.120.30