PROTON IRRADIATION SAMPLE HOLDER II (PISH II)
In recent years, the Canadian and international nuclear industries have been bustling with activity in reactor refurbishments and research in new reactors. The Reactor Material Testing Laboratory (RMTL) at Queen’s University plays a significant role in material research that has applications in extending the lifetime of existing reactors, as well as the evolution of new nuclear reactors. The tandem accelerator in RMTL is used to simulate the radiation damage and changes to materials occurring in a nuclear reactor. Previously, it used the sample holder known as PISH I to hold samples during proton or alpha particle irradiation. The sample holder controls the temperature of the sample along with monitoring the beam current during experiments. This thesis explores the design and implementation of a new sample holder named PISH II. It improves upon the accuracy of temperature and beam current measurements by adding a thermal camera and secondary electron suppression plate to the system. PISH II includes a complete redesign of the edge detector that allows easy adjustment of beam size, as well as a universal sample stage that provides the capability to mount various sample shapes such as a bulk plate, thin foils, narrow strips and C-shape samples. Additionally, a foil testing apparatus was developed as an add-on system to PISH II to test the aluminum foils that could potentially be used in RMTL’s Proton Irradiation Tensile Rig (PITR). A 75 μm aluminum foil was irradiated on the foil testing apparatus by a 6 MeV and 10-20 μA proton beam while under pressure. At a current of 20 μA, the foil ruptured and failed due to material weakening secondary to thermal effects and potential irradiation damage.