Standard Active Last Updated: Jul 14, 2021
ASTM F526-21

Standard Test Method for Using Calorimeters for Total Dose Measurements in Pulsed Linear Accelerator or Flash X-ray Machines

Significance and Use

5.1 An accurate measure of the total absorbed dose is necessary to ensure the validity of the data taken, to enable comparison to be made of data taken at different facilities, and to verify that components or circuits are tested to the radiation specification applied to the system for which they are to be used.

5.2 The primary value of a calorimetric method for measuring dose is that the results are absolute. They are based only on physical properties of materials, that is, the specific heat of the calorimeter-block material and the Seebeck EMF of the thermocouple used or the temperature coefficient of resistance (α) of the thermistor used, all of which can be established with non-radiation measurements.

5.3 The method permits repeated measurements to be made without requiring entry into the radiation cell between measurements.


1.1 This test method covers a calorimetric measurement of the total absorbed dose delivered by a single pulse of electrons from an electron linear accelerator or a flash X-ray machine (FXR, e-beam mode). The test method is designed for use with pulses of electrons in the energy range from 10 to 50 MeV and is only valid for cases in which both the calorimeter and the test specimen to be irradiated are “thin” compared to the range of these electrons in the materials of which they are constructed.

1.2 The procedure described can be used in those cases in which (1) the dose delivered in a single pulse is 5 Gy(matl)2 [500 rd (matl)] or greater, or (2) multiple pulses of a lower dose can be delivered in a short time compared to the thermal time constant of the calorimeter. The units for the total absorbed dose delivered to a material require the specification of the material and the notation “matl” refers to the active material of the calorimeter. The minimum dose per pulse that can be acceptably monitored depends on the variables of the particular test, including pulse rate, pulse uniformity, and the thermal time constant of the calorimeter.

1.3 A determination of the total dose is made directly for the material of which the calorimeter block is made. The total dose in other materials can be calculated from this measured value using Eq 3 presented in this test method. The need for such calculations and the choice of materials for which calculations are to be made shall be subject to agreement by the parties to the test.

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values in parenthesis are provided for information only.

1.5 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.

1.6 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 12.02
Developed by Subcommittee: E10.07
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.1520/F0526-21
ICS Code: 17.240