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High-strength, creep-resistant molybdenum alloy and process for producing the same

Description: A wet-doping process for producing an oxide-dispersion strengthened (ODS), creep-resistant molybdenum alloy is disclosed. The alloy is made by adding nitrate or acetate salts of lanthanum, cerium, thorium, or yttrium to molybdenum oxide to produce a slurry, heating the slurry in a hydrogen atmosphere to produce a powder, mixing and cold isostatically pressing the powder, sintering in a hydrogen atmosphere, and thermomechanically processing (swaging, extruding, cold drawing) the product. The ODS molybdenum alloy produced by the process contains 2--4% by volume ({approximately}1--4% by weight) of an oxide of lanthanum, cerium, thorium, or yttrium. The alloy has high strength and improved creep-resistance at temperatures greater than 0.55T{sub m} of molybdenum.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Bianco, Robert; Buckman, Jr. William R. & Geller, Clint B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method for producing low-cost, high volume hydrogen from hydrocarbon sources

Description: A method is described for the conversion of naturally-occurring or biomass-derived lower to higher hydrocarbon (C{sub x}H{sub y},where x may vary from 1--3 and y may vary from 4--8) to low-cost, high-volume hydrogen. In one embodiment, methane, the major component of natural gas, is reacted in a single reaction zone of a mixed-conducting ceramic membrane reactor to form hydrogen via simultaneous partial oxidation and water gas shift reactions at temperatures required for thermal excitations of the mixed-conducting membranes. The hydrogen is produced by catalytically reacting the hydrocarbon with oxygen to form synthesis gas (a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen), followed by a water gas shift (WGS) reaction with steam, wherein both reactions occur in a single reaction zone having a multi-functional catalyst or a combination of catalysts. The hydrogen is separated from other reaction products by membrane-assisted transport or by pressure-swing adsorption technique. Membrane-assisted transport may occur via proton transfer or molecular sieving mechanisms.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Bose, Arun C.; Balachandran, Uthamalinga; Kleerfisch, Mark S.; Udovich, Carl A. & Stiegel, Gary J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Process for removing technetium from iron and other metals

Description: Technetium is a radioactive product of the nuclear fission process. During reprocessing of spent or partially spent fuel from nuclear reactors, the technetium can be released and contaminate other, otherwise good, metals. A specific example is equipment in gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment cascades which have been used to process fuel which was returned from reactors, so-called reactor returns. These returns contained volatile technetium compounds which contaminated the metals in the equipment. Present regulations require that technetium be removed before the metal can be re-used at non-radioactive sites. Removing the technetium from contaminated metals has two desirable results. First, the large amount of nonradioactive metal produced by the process herein described can be recycled at a much lower cost than virgin metal can be produced. Second, large amounts of radioactively contaminated metal can be reduced to relatively small amounts of radioactive slag and large amounts of essentially uncontaminated metal. A new and improved process for removing technetium from iron and other metals is described in which between 1/10 atom % and 5 atom % of manganese is added to the contaminated metal in order to replace the technetium.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Leitnaker, James M. & Trowbridge, Lee D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TRIAC/SCR proportional control circuit

Description: A power controller device which uses a voltage-to-frequency converter in conjunction with a zero crossing detector to linearly and proportionally control AC power being supplied to a load. The output of the voltage to frequency converter controls the reset input of a R-S flip flop, while an 0 crossing detector controls the set input. The output of the flip flop triggers a monostable multivibrator controlling the SCR or TRIAC firing circuit connected to the load. Logic gates prevent the direct triggering of the multivibrator in the rare instance where the reset and set inputs of the flip flop are in coincidence. The control circuit can be supplemented with a control loop, providing compensation for line voltage variations.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Hughes, Wallace J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Depleted uranium as a backfill for nuclear fuel waste package

Description: A method is described for packaging spent nuclear fuel for long-term disposal in a geological repository. At least one spent nuclear fuel assembly is first placed in an unsealed waste package and a depleted uranium fill material is added to the waste package. The depleted uranium fill material comprises flowable particles having a size sufficient to substantially fill any voids in and around the assembly and contains isotonically-depleted uranium in the +4 valence state in an amount sufficient to inhibit dissolution of the spent nuclear fuel from the assembly into a surrounding medium and to lessen the potential for nuclear criticality inside the repository in the event of failure of the waste package. Last, the waste package is sealed, thereby substantially reducing the release of radionuclides into the surrounding medium, while simultaneously providing radiation shielding and increased structural integrity of the waste package.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Forsberg, Charles W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Decontamination of matrices containing actinide oxides

Description: There is provided a method for removing actinides and actinide oxides, particularly fired actinides, from soil and other contaminated matrices, comprising: (a) contacting a contaminated material with a solution of at least one inhibited fluoride and an acid to form a mixture; (b) heating the mixture of contaminated material and solution to a temperature in the range from about 30 C to about 90 C while stirring; (c) separating the solution from any undissolved matrix material in the mixture; (d) washing the undissolved matrix material to remove any residual materials; and (e) drying and returning the treated matrix material to the environment.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Villarreal, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Strain gauge installation tool

Description: A tool and a method for attaching a strain gauge to a test specimen by maintaining alignment of, and applying pressure to, the strain gauge during the bonding of the gauge to the specimen. The tool comprises rigid and compliant pads attached to a spring-loaded clamp. The pads are shaped to conform to the specimen surface to which the gauge is to be bonded. The shape of the pads permits the tool to align itself to the specimen and to maintain alignment of the gauge to the specimen during the bond curing process. A simplified method of attaching a strain gauge is provided by use of the tool.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Conard, Lisa Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

One-way implodable tag capsule with hemispherical beaded end cap for LWR fuel manufacturing

Description: A capsule is described containing a tag gas in a zircaloy body portion having a hemispherical top curved toward the bottom of the body portion. The hemispherical top has a rupturable portion upon exposure to elevated gas pressure and the capsule is positioned within a fuel element in a nuclear reactor.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Gross, Kenny & Lambert, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fuel element design for the enhanced destruction of plutonium in a nuclear reactor

Description: A uranium-free fuel for a fast nuclear reactor comprising an alloy of Pu, Zr and Hf, wherein Hf is present in an amount less than about 10% by weight of the alloy. The fuel may be in the form of a Pu alloy surrounded by a Zr-Hf alloy or an alloy of Pu-Zr-Hf or a combination of both.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Crawford, Douglas C.; Porter, Douglas L.; Hayes, Steven L. & Hill, Robert N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Double opposite-end tubesheet design for a thermovoltaic energy converter

Description: A method and apparatus are disclosed for the direct conversion of energy by thermovoltaic energy conversion having first and second tubesheets, at least one photon emitter plate secured to and extending from the first tubesheet, at least one cold plate secured to and extending from the second tubesheet, a plurality of thermovoltaic cells disposed along oppositely disposed exterior surfaces of the cold plate, and means cooperating with the tubesheet for maintaining a vacuum between the photon emitter plate and the cold plate.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Ashcroft, John M.; Campbell, Brain C. & DePoy, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inherently safe helium-3 target canister for tritium production in fission systems

Description: A method and apparatus are described for creating tritium via the irradiation of {sup 3}He with thermal neutrons via the {sup 3}He(n,p)T reaction. Nuclear reactors can provide the required neutrons, but the safety of putting {sup 3}He in a reactor has been an issue. The invention reduces or eliminates the reactivity insertion which would be occasioned by a loss of {sup 3}He by providing a canister constructed partially of high neutron-absorbing materials, which will continue to absorb thermal neutrons whether or not the {sup 3}He is still contained within the canister. The canister thus makes the use of the {sup 3}He(n,p)T reaction a viable, safe option for producing tritium within nuclear reactors. In reactors dominated by fast neutrons, the canister further includes a moderator to thermalize fast neutrons.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Houts, Michael G. & James, Brian J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A method for synthesizing pollucite from chabazite and cesium chloride

Description: A method is described for immobilizing waste chlorides salts containing radionuclides and hazardous nuclear material for permanent disposal, and in particular, a method for immobilizing waste chloride salts containing cesium, in a synthetic form of pollucite. The method for synthesizing pollucite from chabazite and cesium chloride includes mixing dry, non-aqueous cesium chloride with chabazite and heating the mixture to a temperature greater than the melting temperature of the cesium chloride, or above about 700 C. The method further comprises significantly improving the rate of retention of cesium in ceramic products comprised of a salt-loaded zeolite by adding about 10% chabazite by weight to the salt-loaded zeolite prior to conversion at elevated temperatures and pressures to the ceramic composite.
Date: August 11, 1997
Creator: Pereira, Candido
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method for priming and DNA sequencing

Description: A method is presented for improving the priming specificity of an oligonucleotide primer that is non-unique in a nucleic acid template which includes selecting a continuous stretch of several nucleotides in the template DNA where one of the four bases does not occur in the stretch. This also includes bringing the template DNA in contract with a non-unique primer partially or fully complimentary to the sequence immediately upstream of the selected sequence stretch. This results in polymerase-mediated differential extension of the primer in the presence of a subset of deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates that does not contain the base complementary to the base absent in the selected sequence stretch. These reactions occur at a temperature sufficiently low for allowing the extension of the non-unique primer. The method causes polymerase-mediated extension reactions in the presence of all four natural deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates or modifications. At this high temperature discrimination occurs against priming sites of the non-unique primer where the differential extension has not made the primer sufficiently stable to prime. However, the primer extended at the selected stretch is sufficiently stable to prime.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Mugasimangalam, R.C. & Ulanovsky, L.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Near real time vapor detection and enhancement using aerosol adsorption

Description: A vapor sample detection method where the vapor sample contains vapor and ambient air and surrounding natural background particles. The vapor sample detection method includes the steps of generating a supply of aerosol that have a particular effective median particle size, mixing the aerosol with the vapor sample forming aerosol and adsorbed vapor suspended in an air stream, impacting the suspended aerosol and adsorbed vapor upon a reflecting element, alternatively directing infrared light to the impacted aerosol and adsorbed vapor, detecting and analyzing the alternatively directed infrared light in essentially real time using a spectrometer and a microcomputer and identifying the vapor sample.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Novick, Vincent J. & Johnson, Stanley A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A thermovoltaic semiconductor device including a plasma filter

Description: A thermovoltaic energy conversion device and related method for converting thermal energy into an electrical potential are disclosed. An interference filter is provided on a semiconductor thermovoltaic cell to pre-filter black body radiation. The semiconductor thermovoltaic cell includes a P/N junction supported on a substrate which converts incident thermal energy below the semiconductor junction band gap into electrical potential. The semiconductor substrate is doped to provide a plasma filter which reflects back energy having a wavelength which is above the band gap and which is ineffectively filtered by the interference filter, through the P/N junction to the source of radiation thereby avoiding parasitic absorption of the unusable portion of the thermal radiation energy.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Baldasaro, Paul F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Constant field gradient planar cavity structure

Description: A cavity structure is described having at least two opposing planar housing members spaced apart to accommodate the passage of a particle beam through the structure between the members. Each of the housing members have a plurality of serially aligned hollows defined therein, and also passages, formed in the members, which interconnect serially adjacent hollows to provide communication between the hollows. The opposing planar housing members are spaced and aligned such that the hollows in one member cooperate with corresponding hollows in the other member to form a plurality of resonant cavities aligned along the particle beam within the cavity structure. To facilitate the obtaining of a constant field gradient within the cavity structure, the passages are configured so as to be incrementally narrower in the direction of travel of the particle beam. In addition, the spacing distance between the opposing housing members is configured to be incrementally smaller in the direction of travel of the beam.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Kang, Yoon W. & Kustom, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Low-cost exterior insulation process and structure

Description: The invention relates to a low-cost process for insulating walls comprising: (a) stacking bags filled with insulating material next to the exterior surface of a wall until the wall is covered, the stack of bags thus formed having fasteners to attach to a wire mesh (e.g., straps looped between the bags and fastened to the wall); (b) stretching a wire mesh (e.g., chicken wire or stucco netting) over the stack of bags, covering the side of the bags which is not adjacent to the wall; (c) fastening the wire mesh to stationary objects; (d) attaching the wire mesh to said fasteners on said stack of bags; and (e) applying a cemetitious material (e.g., stucco) to the wire mesh and allowing it to harden. Stacking the bags against the wall is preferably preceded by laying a base on the ground at the foot of the wall using a material such as cement or crushed stone wrapped in a non-woven fabric (e.g., geosynthetic felt). It is also preferred to erect stationary corner posts at the ends of the wall to be insulated, the top ends of the posts being tied to each other and/or tied or otherwise anchored to the wall. The invention also includes the structure made by this process. The structure comprises a stack of bags of insulating material next to the exterior wall of a building, said stack of bags of insulating material being attached to said wall and having a covering of cementitious material on the side not adjacent to said wall.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Vohra, Arun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method for determining aerosol particle size, device for determining aerosol particle size

Description: A method for determining the mass median diameter D of particles contained in a fluid is provided wherein the data of the mass of a pre-exposed and then a post-exposed filter is mathematically combined with data concerning the pressure differential across the same filter before and then after exposure to a particle-laden stream. A device for measuring particle size is also provided wherein the device utilizes the above-method for mathematically combining the easily quantifiable data.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Novick, Vincent J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An arc fault detection system

Description: An arc fault detection system for use on ungrounded or high-resistance-grounded power distribution systems is provided which can be retrofitted outside electrical switchboard circuits having limited space constraints. The system includes a differential current relay that senses a current differential between current flowing from secondary windings located in a current transformer coupled to a power supply side of a switchboard, and a total current induced in secondary windings coupled to a load side of the switchboard. When such a current differential is experienced, a current travels through a operating coil of the differential current relay, which in turn, opens an upstream circuit breaker located between the switchboard and a power supply to remove the supply of power to the switchboard.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Jha, Kamal N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Acoustic energy-driven fluid pump and method

Description: Bulk fluid motion is promoted in a gaseous fluid contained within a conduit system provided with a diffuser without the need for a mean pressure differential across the conduit system. The contacting of the gaseous fluid with unsteady energy at a selected frequency and pressure amplitude induces fluid flow through the conical diffuser. The unsteady energy can be provided by pulse combustors, thermoacoustic engines, or acoustic energy generators such as acoustic speakers.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Janus, Michael C.; Richards, George A. & Robey, Edward H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cross flow flotation column for coal and minerals beneficiation

Description: An apparatus and process are disclosed for the separation of coal from pyritic impurities using a modified froth flotation system. The froth flotation column incorporates a helical track about the inner wall of the column in a region intermediate between the top and base of the column. A standard impeller located about the central axis of the column is used to generate a centrifugal force thereby increasing the separation efficiency of coal from the pyritic particles and hydrophilic tailings.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Lai, Ralph W. & Patton, Robert A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Direct detection of x-rays for protein crystallography

Description: An apparatus and method for directly determining the crystalline structure of a protein crystal. The crystal is irradiated by a finely collimated x-ray beam. The interaction o f the x-ray beam with the crystal produces scattered x-rays. These scattered x-rays are detected by means of a large area, thick CCD which is capable of measuring a significant number of scattered x-rays which impact its surface. The CCD is capable of detecting the position of impact of the scattered x-ray on the surface of the CCD and the quantity of scattered x-rays which impact the same cell or pixel. This data is then processed in real-time and the processed data is outputted to produce an image of the structure of the crystal. If this crystal is a protein the molecular structure of the protein can be determined from the data received.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Atac, Muzaffer & McKay, Timothy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A sampling device with a capped body and detachable handle

Description: The present invention relates to a device for sampling radioactive waste and more particularly to a device for sampling radioactive waste which prevents contamination of a sampled material and the environment surrounding the sampled material. During vitrification of nuclear wastes, it is necessary to remove contamination from the surfaces of canisters filled with radioactive glass. After removal of contamination, a sampling device is used to test the surface of the canister. The one piece sampling device currently in use creates a potential for spreading contamination during vitrification operations. During operations, the one piece sampling device is transferred into and out of the vitrification cell through a transfer drawer. Inside the cell, a remote control device handles the sampling device to wipe the surface of the canister. A one piece sampling device can be contaminated by the remote control device prior to use. Further, the sample device can also contaminate the transfer drawer producing false readings for radioactive material. The present invention overcomes this problem by enclosing the sampling pad in a cap. The removable handle is reused which reduces the amount of waste material.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Jezek, Gerd-Rainer
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recovery of fissile materials from nuclear wastes

Description: A process is described for recovering fissile materials such as uranium, and plutonium, and rare earth elements, from complex waste feed material, and converting the remaining wastes into a waste glass suitable for storage or disposal. The waste feed is mixed with a dissolution glass formed of lead oxide and boron oxide resulting in oxidation, dehalogenation, and dissolution of metal oxides. Carbon is added to remove lead oxide, and a boron oxide fusion melt is produced. The fusion melt is essentially devoid of organic materials and halogens, and is easily and rapidly dissolved in nitric acid. After dissolution, uranium, plutonium, and rare earth elements are separated from the acid and recovered by processes such as PUREX or ion exchange. The remaining acid waste stream is vitrified to produce a waste glass suitable for storage or disposal. Potential waste feed materials include plutonium scrap and residue, miscellaneous spent nuclear fuel, and uranium fissile wastes. The initial feed materials may contain mixtures of metals, ceramics, amorphous solids, halides, organic material and other carbon-containing material.
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Forsberg, Charles W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department