Multipurpose furnace for in situ studies of polycrystalline materials using synchrotron radiation

Sharma, Hemant; Wattjes, Alix C.; Amirthalingam, Murugaiyan; Zuidwijk, Thim; Geerlofs, Nico; Offerman, S. Erik
December 2009
Review of Scientific Instruments;Dec2009, Vol. 80 Issue 12, p123301
Academic Journal
We report a multipurpose furnace designed for studies using synchrotron radiation on polycrystalline materials, namely, metals, ceramics, and (semi)crystalline polymers. The furnace has been designed to carry out three-dimensional (3D) x-ray diffraction measurements but can also be used for other types of synchrotron radiation research. The furnace has a very low thermal gradient across the specimen (<0.2 °C/mm). Accurate determination of the temperature can be carried out by welding a thermocouple to the specimen. The furnace can be rotated over an angle of 90° in order to determine the crystallographic orientation of each individual grain. It is possible to follow growth kinetics of all grains in the illuminated volume of the specimen. The specimen environment can be controlled varying from vacuum (up to 10-5 mbar) to gas or air filled. The maximum temperature of operation is 1500 °C, with the possibility of achieving high heating (up to 20 °C/s) and cooling rates (up to 30 °C/s without quenching gas). 3D maps of the microstructure of the specimen can be generated at elevated temperatures by bringing the high-resolution detector close to the specimen. We show an example of a simulation of the heat affected zone during the thermal cycle of a weld in a transformation-induced plasticity steel carried out using the furnace. The unique characteristics of the furnace open possibility of new fields in materials research using synchrotron radiation.


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