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  1. We have produced large and highly-reflective open-cell PVC extrusions for the NOvA neutrino oscillation experiment. The extrusions were sealed, instrumented, assembled into self-supporting detector blocks, and filled with liquid scintillator. Each Far Detector block stands 15.7 m high, is 15.7 m wide and 2.1 m thick. More than 22,000 extrusions were produced with high dimensional tolerance and robust mechanical strength. This paper provides an overview of the NOvA Far Detector, describes the preparation of the custom PVC powder, and the making of the extrusions. As a result, quality control was a key element in the production and is described inmore » detail.« less
  2. The NOvA Neutrino Experiment has built a one of a kind self-supporting plastic structure, potentially the largest ever built. The PVC structure serves as a neutrino detector and is composed of 28 individual blocks that measure 15.5 m (51 feet) high by 15.5 m (51 feet) wide by 2.1 m (7 feet) deep. The primary parts in the detector construction are 15.5m (51 foot), 15-cell PVC extrusions. These extrusions from the basis of the detector modules which are laminated together in a crossed pattern to form the individual blocks and then filled with mineral oil based liquid scintillator. The self-supportingmore » nature of the detector places important structural requirements on both the PVC formulation and the extrusions. Block assembly requirements impose narrow geometric tolerances. Due to the method of detecting neutrinos, the extrusions must possess exceptionally high reflectivity over a particular wavelength range. The requirement places additional restrictions on the components of the PVC formulation. Altogether, the PVC extrusions have to maintain important reflectivity characteristics, provide structural support to the detector, and meet relatively tight geometric requirements for assembly. In order to meet these constraints, a custom PVC formulation had to be created and extruded. Here, we describe the purpose and requirements of the NOvA detector leading to the production of our unique PVC extrusion, summarize the R&D process, and discuss the lessons learned.« less

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