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Levitation melting is an ideal technique for the preparation of small quantities of alloys for reference material or nuclear applications. The method avoids contamination of the melt and electromagnetic stirring ensures good mixing in the molten state. Evaporation losses under inert atmosphere are usually small, allowing close control of alloy composition. Very dilute alloys, containing alloying additions at ppm levels, can be prepared using several dilution steps chosen to minimise errors in concentration. Different levitation methods allow the melting of low or high density metal in quantities from a few grammes up to one kilogramme or more, although metals with high vapour pressure or low surface tension can be difficult to handle. Good homogeneity has been demonstrated for 20 g aluminium alloy samples chill-cast into water-cooled copper moulds. Examples of alloys prepared at CBNM by levitation melting are solid standards for atomic absorption spectrometry, U-Pu metal "spikes" for material accountancy measurements by mass spectrometry, and alloy reference materials for reactor neutron dosimetry.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 16th World Conference of the International Nuclear Target Development Society, Padova (IT), September 21-25, 1992
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 37136 ORA
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