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Cermets and method for making same

Description: The present invention is directed to a method for making a wide variety of general-purpose cermets and for radioactive waste disposal from ceramic powders prepared from urea-dispersed solutions containing various metal values. The powders are formed into a compact and subjected to a rapid temperature increase in a reducing atmosphere. During this reduction, one or more of the more readily reducible oxides in the compact is reduced to a selected substoichiometric state at a temperature below the eutectic phase for that particular oxide or oxides and then raised to a temperature greater than the eutectic temperature to provide a liquid phase in the compact prior to the reduction of the liquid phase forming oxide to solid metal. This liquid phase forms at a temperature below the melting temperature of the metal and bonds together the remaining particulates in the cermet to form a solid polycrystalline cermet.
Date: April 1, 1981
Creator: Aaron, W.S.; Kinser, D.L. & Quinby, T.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar coal-gasification reactor with pyrolysis-gas recycle. [Patent application]

Description: Coal (or other carbonaceous matter, such as biomass) is converted into a product gas that is substantially free from hydrocarbons. The coal is fed into a solar reactor, and solar energy is directed into the reactor onto coal char, creating a gasification front and a pyrolysis front. A gasification zone is produced well above the coal level within the reactor. A pyrolysis zone is produced immediately above the coal level. Steam, injected into the reactor adjacent to the gasification zone, reacts with char to generate product gases. Solar energy supplies the energy for the endothermic steam-char reaction. The hot product gases flow from the gasification zone to the pyrolysis zone to generate hot char. Gases are withdrawn from the pyrolysis zone and reinjected into the region of the reactor adjacent the gasification zone. This eliminates hydrocarbons in the gas by steam reformation on the hot char. The product gas is withdrawn from a region of the reactor between the gasification zone and the pyrolysis zone. The product gas will be free of tar and other hydrocarbons, and thus be suitable for use in many processes.
Date: April 6, 1981
Creator: Aiman, W.R. & Gregg, D.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-efficiency photoionization detector

Description: A high efficiency photoionization detector using tetraaminoethylenes in a gaseous state having a low ionization potential and a relative photoionization cross section which closely matches the emission spectrum of xenon gas. Imaging proportional counters are also disclosed using the novel photoionization detector of the invention. The compound of greatest interest is TMAE which comprises tetrakis(dimethylamino)ethylene which has a measured ionization potential of 5.36 +- 0.02 eV, and a vapor pressure of 0.35 torr at 20/sup 0/C.
Date: May 12, 1981
Creator: Anderson, D.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Portable vacuum object handling device

Description: The disclosure relates to a portable device adapted to handle objects which are not to be touched by hand. A piston and bore wall form a vacuum chamber communicating with an adaptor sealably engageable with an object to be lifted. The piston is manually moved and set to establish vacuum. A valve is manually actuable to apply the vacuum to lift the object.
Date: July 30, 1981
Creator: Anderson, G.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Self-actuating reactor-shutdown system. [LMFBR]

Description: A control system for the automatic or self-actuated shutdown or scram of a nuclear reactor is described. The system is capable of initiating scram insertion by a signal from the plant protection system or by independent action directly sensing reactor conditions of low-flow or over-power. Self-actuation due to a loss of reactor coolant flow results from a decrease of pressure differential between the upper and lower ends of an absorber element. When the force due to this differential falls below the weight of the element, the element will fall by gravitational force to scram the reactor. Self-actuation due to high neutron flux is accomplished via a valve controlled by an electromagnet and a thermionic diode. In a reactor over-power, the diode will be heated to a change of state causing the electromagnet to be shorted thereby actuating the valve which provides the changed flow and pressure conditions required for scramming the absorber element.
Date: June 4, 1981
Creator: Barrus, D.M.; Brummond, W.A. & Peterson, L.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermionic switched self-actuating reactor shutdown system

Description: A self-actuating reactor shutdown system is described which has a thermionic switched electromagnetic latch arrangement which is responsive to reactor neutron flux changes and to reactor coolant temperature changes. The system is self-actuating in that the sensing thermionic device acts directly to release (scram) the control rod (absorber) without reference or signal from the main reactor plant protective and control systems. To be responsive to both temperature and neutron flux effects, two detectors are used, one responsive to reactor coolant temperatures, and the other responsive to reactor neutron flux increase. The detectors are incorporated into a thermionic diode connected electrically with an electromagnetic mechanism which under normal reactor operating conditions holds the control rod in its ready position (exterior of the reactor core).
Date: June 4, 1981
Creator: Barrus, D.M.; Shires, C.D. & Brummond, W.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-temperature electrically conductive ceramic composite and method for making same

Description: The present invention relates to a metal-oxide ceramic composition useful in induction heating applications for treating uranium and uranium alloys. The ceramic composition is electrically conductive at room temperature and is nonreactive with molten uranium. The composition is prepared from a particulate admixture of 20 to 50 vol. % niobium and zirconium oxide which may be stabilized with an addition of a further oxide such as magnesium oxide, calcium oxide, or yttria. The composition is prepared by blending the powders, pressing or casting the blend into the desired product configuration, and then sintering the casting or compact in an inert atmosphere. In the casting operation, calcium aluminate is preferably added to the admixture in place of a like quantity of zirconia for providing a cement to help maintain the integrity of the sintered product.
Date: June 9, 1981
Creator: Beck, D.E.; Gooch, J.G.; Holcombe, C.E. Jr. & Masters, D.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radioactive-materials shipping-cask anticontamination enclosure

Description: An anticontamination device for use in storing shipping casks for radioactive materials comprises (1) a seal plate assembly; (2) a double-layer plastic bag; and (3) a water management system or means for water management.
Date: August 18, 1981
Creator: Belmonte, M.S.; Davis, J.H. & Williams, D.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intense transient magnetic-field generation by laser plasma

Description: In a laser system, the return current of a laser generated plasma is conducted near a target to subject that target to the magnetic field thereof. In alternate embodiments the target may be either a small non-fusion object for testing under the magnetic field or a laser-fusion pellet. In the laser-fusion embodiment, the laser-fusion pellet is irradiated during the return current flow and the intense transient magnetic field is used to control the hot electrons thereof to hinder them from striking and heating the core of the irradiated laser-fusion pellet.
Date: August 18, 1981
Creator: Benjamin, R.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Automatic voltage-imbalance detector

Description: A device is described for indicating and preventing damage to voltage cells such as galvanic cells and fuel cells connected in series by detecting sequential voltages and comparing these voltages to adjacent voltage cells. The device is implemented by using operational amplifiers and switching circuitry is provided by transistors. The device can be utilized in battery powered electric vehicles to prevent galvanic cell damage and also in series connected fuel cells to prevent fuel cell damage.
Date: May 20, 1981
Creator: Bobbett, R.E.; McCormick, J.B. & Kerwin, W.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Frequency spectrum analyzer with phase-lock

Description: A frequency-spectrum analyzer with phase-lock for analyzing the frequency and amplitude of an input signal is comprised of a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) which is driven by a ramp generator, and a phase error detector circuit. The phase error detector circuit measures the difference in phase between the VCO and the input signal, and drives the VCO locking it in phase momentarily with the input signal. The input signal and the output of the VCO are fed into a correlator which transfers the input signal to a frequency domain, while providing an accurate absolute amplitude measurement of each frequency component of the input signal.
Date: July 29, 1981
Creator: Boland, T.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Microscope and method of use

Description: A method and apparatus for electronically focusing and electronically scanning microscopic specimens are given. In the invention, visual images of even moving, living, opaque specimens can be acoustically obtained and viewed with virtually no time needed for processing (i.e., real time processing is used). And planar samples are not required. The specimens (if planar) need not be moved during scanning, although it will be desirable and possible to move or rotate nonplanar specimens (e.g., laser fusion targets) against the lens of the apparatus. No coupling fluid is needed, so specimens need not be wetted. A phase acoustic microscope is also made from the basic microscope components together with electronic mixers.
Date: August 18, 1981
Creator: Bongianni, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bioluminescence monitor and method for enzymatic determinations. [Patents]

Description: An on-line, nonreferenced apparatus for measuring the concentration of a biomarker species in authentic biological samples in solution comprises conduit means for conducting said sample solution from a source of said solution, stream diversion means disposed within the conduit for diverting a predetermined amount of said sample for analysis, means for introducing and independently regulating the flow of one or more reactants disposed in fluid communication with said diverted stream, incubating means within the diverted stream for reacting said reactants and biomarkers to produce a bioluminescence emission, and means disposed within the diverted stream for monitoring said emission intensity which is correlatable to said biomarker concentration.
Date: April 28, 1981
Creator: Bostick, William D.; Denton, Mark S. & Dinsmore, Stanley R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combination free-electron and gaseous laser

Description: A multiple laser having one or more gaseous laser stages and one or more free electron stages is described. Each of the free electron laser stages is sequentially pumped by a microwave linear accelerator. Subsequently, the electron beam is directed through a gaseous laser, in the preferred embodiment, and in an alternative embodiment, through a microwave accelerator to lower the energy level of the electron beam to pump one or more gaseous lasers. The combination laser provides high pulse repetition frequencies, on the order of 1 kHz or greater, high power capability, high efficiency, and tunability in the synchronous production of multiple beams of coherent optical radiation.
Date: June 8, 1981
Creator: Brau, C.A.; Rockwood, S.D. & Stein, W.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Free-electron laser using rf-coupled accelerating and decelerating structures

Description: A free electron laser and free electron laser amplifier using beam transport devices for guiding an electron beam to a wiggler of a free electron laser and returning the electron beam to decelerating cavities disposed adjacent to the accelerating cavities of the free electron laser. Rf energy is extracted from the electron beam after it emerges from the wiggler by means of the decelerating cavities which are closely coupled to the accelerating cavities, or by means of a second bore within a single set of cavities. Rf energy extracted from the decelerated electron beam is used to supplement energy provided by an external source, such as a klystron, to thereby enhance overall efficiency of the system.
Date: June 19, 1981
Creator: Brau, C.A.; Swenson, D.A. & Boyd, T.J. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

In-situ vitrification of soil. [Patent application]

Description: A method of vitrifying soil at or below a soil surface location. Two or more conductive electrodes are inserted into the soil for heating of the soil mass between them to a temperature above its melting temperature. Materials in the soil, such as buried waste, can thereby be effectively immobilized.
Date: April 6, 1981
Creator: Brouns, R.A.; Buelt, J.L. & Bonner, W.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Separator assembly for use in spent-nuclear-fuel shipping cask. [Patent application]

Description: A separator assembly for use in a spent-nuclear-fuel shipping cask has a honeycomb-type wall structure defining parallel cavities for holding nuclear fuel assemblies. Tubes formed of an effective neutron-absorbing material are embedded in the wall structure around each of the cavities and provide neutron flux traps when filled with water.
Date: April 24, 1981
Creator: Bucholz, J.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gamma-thermometer-based reactor-core liquid-level detector. [PWR]

Description: A system is provided which employs a modified gamma thermometer for determining the liquid coolant level within a nuclear reactor core. The gamma thermometer which normally is employed to monitor local core heat generation rate (reactor power), is modified by thermocouple junctions and leads to obtain an unambiguous indication of the presence or absence of coolant liquid at the gamma thermometer location. A signal processor generates a signal based on the thermometer surface heat transfer coefficient by comparing the signals from the thermocouples at the thermometer location. The generated signal is a direct indication of loss of coolant due to the change in surface heat transfer when coolant liquid drops below the thermometer location. The loss of coolant indication is independent of reactor power at the thermometer location. Further, the same thermometer may still be used for the normal power monitoring function.
Date: June 16, 1981
Creator: Burns, T.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method and apparatus for aerosol-particle absorption spectroscopy. [DOE patent application]

Description: A method and apparatus are described for determining the absorption spectra, and other properties, of aerosol particles. A heating beam source provides a beam of electromagnetic energy which is scanned through the region of the spectrum which is of interest. Particles exposed to the heating beam which have absorption bands within the band width of the heating beam absorb energy from the beam. The particles are also illuminated by light of a wave length such that the light is scattered by the particles. The absorption spectra of the particles can thus be determined from an analysis of the scattered light since the absorption of energy by the particles will affect the way the light is scattered. Preferably the heating beam is modulated to simplify the analysis of the scattered light. In one embodiment the heating beam is intensity modulated so that the scattered light will also be intensity modulated when the particles absorb energy. In another embodiment the heating beam passes through an interferometer and the scattered light reflects the Fourier Transform of the absorption spectra.
Date: June 25, 1981
Creator: Campillo, Anthony J. & Lin, Horn-Bond
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Compressor surge counter

Description: A surge counter for a rotating compressor is provided which detects surging by monitoring the vibration signal from an accelerometer mounted on the shaft bearing of the compressor. The circuit detects a rapid increase in the amplitude envelope of the vibration signal, e.g., 4 dB or greater in less than one second, which is associated with a surge onset and increments a counter. The circuit is rendered nonresponsive for a period of about 5 seconds following the detection which corresponds to the duration of the surge condition. This prevents multiple registration of counts during the surge period due to rapid swings in vibration amplitude during the period.
Date: April 13, 1981
Creator: Castleberry, K.N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nitrogen fixation method and apparatus. [DOE patent application]

Description: A method and apparatus for achieving nitrogen fixation includes a volumetric electric discharge chamber. The volumetric discharge chamber provides an even distribution of an electron beam, and enables the chamber to be maintained at a controlled energy to pressure (E/p) ratio. An E/p ratio of from 5 to 15 kV/atm of O/sub 2//cm promotes the formation of vibrationally excited N/sub 2/. Atomic oxygen interacts with vibrationally excited N/sub 2/ at a much quicker rate than unexcited N/sub 2/, greatly improving the rate at which NO is formed.
Date: August 11, 1981
Creator: Chen, H.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Neutral beamline with improved ion-energy recovery

Description: A neutral beamline generator with unneutralized ion energy recovery is provided which enhances the energy recovery of the full energy ion component of the beam exiting the neutralizer cell of the beamline. The unneutralized full energy ions exiting the neutralizer are deflected from the beam path and the electrons in the cell are blocked by a magnetic field applied transverse to the beamline in the cell exit region. The ions, which are generated at essentially ground potential and accelerated through the neutralizer cell by a negative acceleration voltage, are collected at ground potential. A neutralizer cell exit end region is provided which allows the magnetic and electric fields acting on the exiting ions to be closely coupled. As a result, the fractional energy ions exiting the cell with the full energy ions are reflected back into the gas cell. Thus, the fractional energy ions do not detract from the energy recovery efficiency of full energy ions exiting the cell which can reach the ground potential interior surfaces of the beamline housing.
Date: April 13, 1981
Creator: Dagenhart, W.K.; Haselton, H.H.; Stirling, W.L. & Whealton, J.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Apparatus and method for pyrolyzing biomass material

Description: A technique for pyrolyzing biomass materials is disclosed wherein a hot surface is provided having a predetermined temperature which is sufficient to pyrolyze only the surface strata of the biomass material without substantially heating the interior of the biomass material thereby providing a large temperature gradient from the surface strata inwardly of the relatively cool biomass materials. Relative motion and physical contact is produced between the surface strata and the hot surface for a sufficient period of time for ablative pyrolyzation by heat conduction to occur with minimum generation of char.
Date: August 21, 1981
Creator: Diebold, J.P. & Reed, T.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department