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Title: Characterization of an explosively bonded aluminum proton beam window for the Spallation Neutron Source

An effort is underway at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) to change the design of the 1st Generation high-nickel alloy proton beam window (PBW) to one that utilizes aluminum for the window material. One of the key challenges to implementation of an aluminum PBW at the SNS was selection of an appropriate joining method to bond an aluminum window to the stainless steel bulk shielding of the PBW assembly. An explosively formed bond was selected as the most promising joining method for the aluminum PBW design. A testing campaign was conducted to evaluate the strength and efficacy of explosively formed bonds that were produced using two different interlayer materials: niobium and titanium. The characterization methods reported here include tensile testing, thermal-shock leak testing, optical microscopy, and advanced scanning electron microscopy. All tensile specimens examined failed in the aluminum interlayer and measured tensile strengths were all slightly greater than the native properties of the aluminum interlayer, while elongation values were all slightly lower. A leak developed in the test vessel with a niobium interlayer joint after repeated thermal-shock cycles, and was attributed to an extensive crack network that formed in a layer of niobium-rich intermetallics located on the bond interfaces ofmore » the niobium interlayer; the test vessel with a titanium interlayer did not develop a leak under the conditions tested. Due to the experience gained from these characterizations, the explosively formed bond with a titanium interlayer was selected for the aluminum PBW design at the SNS.« less
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  1. ORNL
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Conference: 11th International Workshop on Spallation Materials Technology, Ghent, Belgium, 20121105, 20121109
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Spallation Neutron Source
Sponsoring Org:
SC USDOE - Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Proton Beam Window; Spallation Neutron Source; Explosive Bond; 6061-T6 Aluminum; 316L Stainless Steel