High-performance production targets and other critical accelerator components intercepting intense, energetic proton beams are essential as the accelerator community envisions the next generation, multi-MW accelerators. Materials that have served the nuclear sector well may not be suitable to play such a role which demands that the material comprising the beam-intercepting element must, in addition to the long exposure which leads to accumulated irradiation damage, also endure short exposure that manifests itself as thermo-mechanical shock. The ability of materials to resist irradiation-induced degradation of its properties that control shock and fatigue is of primary interest. The need for such materials that extend beyond resistance to the neutron-driven irradiation damage of reactor components has led to an extensive search and experimentation with new alloys and composites. These new high-performance materials, which appear to possess the right combination of mechanical and physical properties, are explored through a multi-phased experimental study at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). This study, which brings together the interest in accelerator targets of different facilities around the world, seeks to simulate conditions of both short and long exposure to proton beams to assess the survivability potential of these new alloys and composite materials. While thermo-mechanical shock effects have been studied in the early stages of this comprehensive effort, it is irradiation damage that is currently the focus of the study and results to-date are presented in this paper along with the status and objectives of on-going studies. Of special interest are results depicting damage reversal through post-irradiation annealing in some of the materials. High fluences of 200 and/or 117 MeV protons provided by the BNL Linac beam that serves the Isotope Production Facility were used to assess irradiation damage in these new composites and alloys.
ASJC Scopus subject areas