Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Preparation of two uranium glass reference materials for fission-track dating of geological samples

Funded under: FP5


The European Commission produced and certified uranium glass for fission-track dating in 1996 (Reference Material IRMM-540). This material is now out of stock and a project for the preparation of two new reference glasses is underway. The new glasses, containing nominally 15 and 55 uranium, were prepared from blended oxide powder, and cast using an improved method, which minimised micro-scale defects and optimised the yield. Glass rods were produced which were then cut into discs of 2mm thickness and 15mm diameter and subsequently polished.

Uranium homogeneity and fission-track stability are critical properties of the glass. An extensive study was carried out to verify the homogeneity by fission-track counting, investigating both within-disc and between disc effects, and to investigate potential track fading due to thermal annealing. No evidence of uranium heterogeneity was detected. The stability study, using an "isochronous" method, in which all measurements are made at the end of exposure to artificial ageing, is still underway.

The reference material will be certified for isotopic composition (natural), uranium mass fraction and neutron fluence (one disc out of each set of three will be irradiated, together with a mica foil, to induce fission tracks in a certified fluence). The reference materials will be released as IRMM-540R (15 U) and IRMM-541 (55 U). U).

Additional information

Authors: DERBYSHIRE M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Geel (BE);INGELBRECHT C, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Geel (BE);DECORTE F, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Nuclear Science, Ghent University, Gent (BE);VAN DEN HAUTE P, Laboratory of Mineralogy, Petrography and Micropedology, Geology Institute, Ghent University, Gent (BE);VAN HAM J, Philips Display Components, BTG Special Products, Eindhoven (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 20th International Conference on Nuclear Tracks in Solids, Portoroz (SI) August 28 - September 1 2000
Availability: Available from European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Public Relations and Publications Unit, Brussels (BE)
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