Radiation effects testing involves bombarding the material in question with massive amounts of high-energy neutron radiation consistent with extremes in its operational environment, and then analyzing the material for signs of damage.
Radiation hardening involves designing radiation-tolerant electronics and components. As part of this process, manufacturers perform rigorous testing in order to determine whether these components are sufficiently hardened. Most radiation effects testing is carried out in nuclear reactor facilities; however, using reactors comes with drawbacks, such as a large footprint and significant regulatory overhead. Our high-yield neutron generators are a better alternative to R&D professionals interested in radiation effects testing. We’re reliable, flexible, and agile — and as a result, our clients are, too.
When designing components with higher radiation tolerance, manufacturers must take into account potential radiation effects, including neutron activation. When an object is exposed to neutron radiation, the neutrons may be absorbed into the atomic nuclei, which can convert certain elements into unstable isotopes. These isotopes then release excess neutron radiation, alpha or beta particles, or bursts of gamma rays. Depending on the material, the object can remain radioactive for hours or days. While neutron activation can be a useful materials testing tool, in other cases it’s less than desirable. Our neutron generators give R&D professionals the opportunity to analyze neutron activation as they work to design radiation-tolerant electronics and other components.