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An in situ thermo-mechanical rig for lattice strain measurement during creep using neutron diffraction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number055110
Number of pages10
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number5
Early online date18 May 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 22 Apr 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 18 May 2018
DatePublished (current) - May 2018


A long-term high-temperature testing stress rig has been designed and fabricated for performing in situ neutron diffraction tests at the ENGIN-X beamline, ISIS facility in the UK. It is capable of subjecting metals to high temperatures up to 800 °C and uniaxial loading under different boundary conditions including constant load, constant strain, and elastic follow-up, each with minimum of external control. Samples are held horizontally between grips and connected to a rigid rig frame, a soft aluminium bar, and a stepper motor with forces up to 20 kN. A new three zone split electrical resistance furnace which generates a stable and uniform heat atmosphere over 200 mm length was used to heat the samples. An 8 mm diameter port at 45° to the centre of the furnace was made in order to allow the neutron beam through the furnace to illuminate the sample. The entire instrument is mounted on the positioner at ENGIN-X and has the potential ability to operate continuously while being moved in and out of the neutron diffraction beam. The performance of the rig has been demonstrated by tracking the evolution of lattice strains in type 316H stainless steel under elastic follow-up control at 550 °C.

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