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Low Activation Materials Development and Analysis (LAMDA) Laboratory

Keith J. Leonard, Leader
Tel: 865-576-3687
Fax: 865-241-3650

What's New

The facility now known as the Low Activation Materials Development and Analysis (LAMDA) facility was originally created as a laboratory for plutonium studies. With the increased interest in graphite for high temperature gas cooled reactors in the 1960’s, the emphasis of this laboratory shifted to thermophysical property measurement of graphite irradiated at various US fission reactors. The irradiated graphite research effort decreased in the 1980’s due to dwindling funding. Over the past ten years, several programs within the division have increased their emphasis on the basics of radiation effects and the development of so-called “low activation” materials. As a result of this redirection, the materials to be studied were of lower radiological threat, allowing materials to be evaluated in a less restrictive environment than the hot-cells typically used for the previous nuclear programs. For this reason the LAMDA facility became a primary facility for materials evaluation. The LAMDA facility provides an opportunity for safe, economically efficient and thorough examination of materials.

Description of the LAMDA Facility
LAMDA Facility Building 4508

The LAMDA facility is a multipurpose laboratory for evaluation of materials with low radiological threat. This threat is defined both by the potential for absorbed dose and the possibility of radiological contamination. All materials to be observed in the facility are accepted from one of the ORNL hot-cells (predominantly 3025E, 3525, and 3047), with the radiological hazards previously identified. Once in the facility they undergo a further radiological screening and decontamination. At this point the materials are cataloged and stored in the lead-lined storage vault within the facility. Research to be conducted on materials in this facility is proposed and submitted as a work package on the Materials Science & Technology Division Web-Server. The LAMDA facility manager (Jeremy Busby) reviews the work package, identifies any potential problems with the conduct of work, ensures through interaction with the Health Physics, ES&H organizations, and current ORNL procedures that the proposed work is appropriate for the facility, and schedules the work and personnel to carry out the work package. The most commonly conducted work includes mechanical testing, optical and scanning electron microscopy, densitometry, metallography, thermal and electrical conductivity. A list of equipment is provided below. New or infrequently performed activities are possible with the appropriate planning and interface with health physics and the ES&H organization.

Programs utilizing the LAMDA Facility

The LAMDA facility is utilized by several programs within the division, with primary emphasis on the evaluation of irradiated materials. Current programs actively using the LAMDA facility include the Naval Reactor advanced structural materials program, US Fusion Materials Sciences, US DOE-JAERI fusion materials collaboration, US-Japan Jupiter-II fusion materials collaboration, several NERI projects, and the NE-Generation IV program.

Equipment List:
  1. UTS Tensile Testing Frame: Capable of tensile testing in vacuum as low as E-7 Torr. Load cells from 50 to 1000 pounds. Temperature from ambient to 1300°C. Labview data acquisition
  2. Instron Frame: 25 to 1000 pound load cells in air at room temperature or clamshell furnace (800°C). Labview data acquisition. Primarily used for flexural bend bar testing.
  3. Instron Frame: 25 to 1000 pound load cells ultra-fine-thread frame testing in air. Labview data acquisition. Laser extensometry available. Primarily used for ceramic fiber testing.
  4. Instron Frame: 25 to 1000 pound load cells in air or nitrogen cover gas. Testing temperature range from liquid nitrogen to 400°C.
  5. ANTER Flash thermal diffusivity systems: One to six sample stage, 6 to 37 mm diam. Liquid nitrogen to 1600°C with solid state and infrared detector.
  6. ANTER Diatometer systems: Ambient to 1000°C.
  7. Four-point probe electrical resistivity.
  8. Scanning electron microscope with EDS and in-situ straining fixture
  9. Air furnace. 1200°C maximum temperature.
  10. Scanning Calorimeter.
  11. Vacuum furnace. Capable of 2000°C in vacuum of E-6 Torr.
  12. Buehler microhardness tester (Vickers or Knoop). 10 to 2500 g loads.
  13. Wilson Instruments automated microhardness tester (Vickers or Knogs) 10 to 1000g loads.
  14. Metallography. Optical microscopes. Ceramic and metallic TEM preparation facilities.
  15. FEI Focused Ion Beam (FIB) for TEM sample preparation.
  16. FISCHIONE model 1010 ion miller, liquid nitrogen cooled specimen stage, 0 to 45 deg. milling angle, 0.5 to 6 kV extractor voltage.
  17. Density gradient columns for density up to 3.2 g/cc. Accuracy to 1 mg/cc.
  18. Sonic elastic modulus (J. W. Lemmins)
Required Training or Comparable Qualification for User:
(NOTE: Coming Changes in Radiological Worker Training January 2013)
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