Ultrasonic NDE in a reactor core

David A. Parks, Bernhard R. Tittmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


We have irradiated bulk single crystal piezoelectric AlN operating as an ultrasonic transducer up to a fast and thermal neutron fluence of 1.85×10 18 n/cm 2 and 5.8×10 18 n/cm 2 respectively along with a gamma dose of 26.8 MGy. Our primary interest was in the radiation effects on the piezoelectric performance of the AlN crystal. Ideally standard procedures [2] for extracting material properties from the impedance spectra would have been applied. However, this procedure was anticipated to be very error prone due the effects of radiation on passive components, such as electrodes and cabling. As a result the transducer was coupled to an aluminum cylinder and operated in pulse echo mode throughout the irradiation. In addition to the pulse echo testing impedance data was obtained. Although, material parameters such as d 33 could not be measured in-situ during irradiation with our procedure, our work is the only publication, to the author's knowledge, showing the operation of an ultrasonic transducer in a reactor core. Further, the piezoelectric coefficient was measured prior to irradiation and found to be 5.5 pC/N which is unchanged form as grown samples, and in fact higher than the measured d33 for many as grown samples. Further proof of the viability of utilizing ultrasonic transducers in a reactor core is provided by means of successful time of flight (TOF) measurements throughout the irradiation. The TOF data was used to measure the gamma heating of an aluminum cylinder. The heating due to short lived isotopes in the Al was also detected via TOF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Sensors 2011 Conference, SENSORS 2011
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2011
Event10th IEEE SENSORS Conference 2011, SENSORS 2011 - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: Oct 28 2011Oct 31 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Sensors


Other10th IEEE SENSORS Conference 2011, SENSORS 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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