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College Park, Maryland      June 6 - 10 , 2004

TP26: Modifying High Temperature Furnaces to Extend Operating Capabilities

J.S. Fieramosca (Argonne National Laboratory)

Sometimes it is possible to modify existing sample environment equipment beyond its originally designed operating parameters, such as extending its temperature range, sample containment, etc., to accommodate newer and more demanding scientific studies. The Intense Pulsed Neutron Source (IPNS) has modified one of its high temperature furnaces, a vanadium foil vacuum furnace, to satisfy the requirements of recently proposed user experiments. The vanadium foil vacuum furnace is a resistive-heating element type furnace able to heat samples to 1000°C. It consists of two heat shields, a heating element, a separate sample vacuum housing, and sample container, all cylindrically concentric and constructed of vanadium. The original sample housing maintains a separate high vacuum around the sample and allows sample changes during the experiment without breaking vacuum to the furnace element. A recently proposed experiment required a modification to the furnace to accommodate a controlled atmosphere about the sample. The furnace modification consisted of substituting for the sample housing and container an open-ended fused silica tube with an imbedded silica frit for supporting a powder sample in the beam. The use of fused silica was dictated by the corrosiveness of the gas used in the experiment. A controlled atmosphere flows through the fused silica tube and over the sample at temperature. Gas composition and flow rates are controlled using EPICS interfaced automated mass flow controllers.

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