Evaluation and characterization of General Purpose Heat Source girth welds for the Cassini mission

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General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHSs) are components of Radioisotopic thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) which provide electric power for deep space missions. Each GPHS consists of a {sup 238}Pu oxide ceramic pellet encapsulated in a welded iridium alloy shell which forms a protective barrier against the release of plutonia in the unlikely event of a launch-pad failure or reentry incident. GPHS fueled clad girth weld flaw detection was paramount to ensuring this safety function, and was accomplished using both destructive and non-destructive evaluation techniques. The first girth weld produced from each welding campaign was metallographically examined for flaws such as incomplete weld ... continued below

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12 p.

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Lynch, C.M.; Moniz, P.F. & Reimus, M.A.H. December 31, 1998.

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Description

General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHSs) are components of Radioisotopic thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) which provide electric power for deep space missions. Each GPHS consists of a {sup 238}Pu oxide ceramic pellet encapsulated in a welded iridium alloy shell which forms a protective barrier against the release of plutonia in the unlikely event of a launch-pad failure or reentry incident. GPHS fueled clad girth weld flaw detection was paramount to ensuring this safety function, and was accomplished using both destructive and non-destructive evaluation techniques. The first girth weld produced from each welding campaign was metallographically examined for flaws such as incomplete weld penetration, cracks, or porosity which would render a GPHS unacceptable for flight applications. After an acceptable example weld was produced, the subsequently welded heat sources were evaluated non-destructively for flaws using ultrasonic immersion testing. Selected heat sources which failed ultrasonic testing would be radiographed, and/or, destructively evaluated to further characterize and document anomalous indications. Metallography was also performed on impacted heat sources to determine the condition of the welds.

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12 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE98007510

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  • American Glovebox Society conference, Orlando, FL (United States), 12-16 Jul 1998

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  • Other: DE98007510
  • Report No.: LA-UR--98-2722
  • Report No.: CONF-980786--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 319817
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc684146

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • December 31, 1998

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • March 1, 2016, 4:03 p.m.

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Lynch, C.M.; Moniz, P.F. & Reimus, M.A.H. Evaluation and characterization of General Purpose Heat Source girth welds for the Cassini mission, article, December 31, 1998; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc684146/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.