By the mid-2020s, the Sample Preparation Laboratory (SPL) will provide for the needs of a growing nuclear energy research community. The facility siting of SPL supports effective integration with other critical post-irradiation examination facilities located at the Materials and Fuels Complex, such as the Irradiated Materials Characterization Laboratory, the Hot Fuel Examination Facility, and the Analytical Laboratory.
SPL will provide instrumentation and capability not currently available for analysis of irradiated materials, including many for understanding material-aging issues, improving materials for use in advanced nuclear energy systems.
Load frame and charpy testing machines, each with an environmental chamber to simulate a wide range of environments from cryogenic to high temperature
Micro- and nanohardness testers to determine material properties such as modulus of elasticity, hardness, yield strength and fracture toughness in a very small area of sample
Scanning electron microscopy for fracture surface analysis, a critical component of materials research
Surface science instruments such as secondary ion mass spectrometry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy for chemical characterization of oxide films and fracture surfaces
X-ray diffraction for determination of crystal structure of phases and the phase array in a material, residual stress measurement, and texture measurement to evaluate the evolution of these traits during irradiation