The pushrod dilatometer inside of the fresh fuels glovebox (FFG) measures linear thermal expansion via a liner variable differential transformer (LVDT). It is used to calculate coefficient of thermal expansion and density as a function of temperature. This instrument will be operated for measurement of irradiated, radioactive, and nonradioactive materials. The materials included in this scope are structural reactor, fuel, and moderator materials. Typical sample materials will be solid form with cylindrical or rod shapes of approximately 20 mm in length. Typical sample masses range from 10 mg to 2 grams.
The pushrod dilatometer measures linear thermal expansion as a function of temperature via an LVDT. From this measurement, the volumetric expansion and density can be calculated.
Our system is a Netzsch DIL 402 instrument equipped with a single pushrod and sample holders for solid materials. It has an accuracy of 1% for most materials and a resolution of 8 nm. The furnace allows for measurements from room temperature to 1,600°C in inert and oxidizing atmospheres.