A collaborative project, between Ionix Advanced Technologies Ltd, TWI Ltd, Precision Acoustics Ltd(PAL) and University of Sheffield (UoS), towards developing and manufacturing radiation resilient ultrasonic sensors (reDRESS) has been completed with high praise from the project’s funding body, InnovateUK.
The goal of the reDRESS project was to construct a reliable ultrasonic testing (UT) sensor, capable of operating at 350°C for defined periods, whilst exposed to high levels of gamma and neutron radiation. This would allow engineers to undertake a UT inspection close to the core of a nuclear reactor, which is an extremely hot (> 350°C) environment, with high radiation levels.
Ionix HotSense™ sensors were exposed to gamma and gamma and neutron radiation, including at high temperatures. Two suitable facilities were used to test the samples, the Dalton Nuclear Facility (DCF) in Cumbria, England, and the Joseph Stefan Institute (JSI), Ljubljana, Slovenia, exposing them to a total of 10 MGy and 10 MGy of mixed gamma + neutron radiation respectively.
Suitable cabling solutions to connect the sensors to the UT equipment were identified and investigated the link between the reduction in the piezoelectric effect and microstructural damage caused by radiation exposure. The piezo-ceramic UT sensors, developed by Ionix, withstood the gamma + neutron and gamma exposure with no observable change in performance. The University of Sheffield (UoS) successfully modelled the radiation exposure of the components so that selective radiation hardening could be applied to their electronics where necessary.
HotSense™ sensors are available now for a range of monitoring applications within high radiation applications, including:
- Wall loss monitoring
- Level sensing
- Flow measurement
See the HotSense™ product page or contact Ionix for more information.