A Neutron Radiography System for Field Use
ARMY LAB COMMAND WATERTOWN MA MATERIAL TECHNOLOGY LAB
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The use of neutrons as penetrating radiation expands the role of radiological nondestructive examination considerably. Radiological examination by neutrons has been limited, however, by the need to perform such radiography at the site of a nuclear reactor or a large accelerator system which can provide neutrons of an intensity equal to that of industrial accelerator system which can provide neutrons of an intensity equal to that of industrial X-ray sources. Mobile neutron radiological system has been designed as a prototype for the examination of lightweight aircraft structures in the field. The neutron source for this system is a very small commercially available d,t accelerator which provides an on-off radiation source and a size, weight, and shielding requirement acceptable for routine neutron examination in the manner of high- energy X-ray radiological systems. Under a variety of field maintenance conditions, this system has successfully provided useful neutron radiography at resonable exposure times and has pointed the way to a means for bringing neutron radiography to the worksite. In addition to the technological advances introduced, acceptance of this small source system as a nondestructive examination tool has required rethinking on the part of NDE professionals and reeducation of technicians regarding the goals of radiographic examinations. Experience with this unit, is reported both in the field and in the laboratory where it serves as a resource for further neutron source developments and the exploration of new applications of on-site neutron radiological examinations.
- Nuclear Instrumentation