ENGIN-X: A third-generation neutron strain scanner

Santisteban, J.R.; Daymond, M.R.; James, J.A. and Edwards, L. (2006). ENGIN-X: A third-generation neutron strain scanner. Journal of Applied Crystallography, 39(6) pp. 812–825.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1107/S0021889806042245


ENGIN-X, a new time-of-flight (TOF) neutron diffractometer optimized to measure elastic strains at precise locations in bulky specimens recently commissioned at the ISIS Facility in the Rutherford Laboratory, UK, is described. Fast counting times, together with a flexible and accurate definition of the instrumental gauge volume are the main requirements of neutron strain scanning and have been addressed on ENGIN-X through the design of a novel TOF diffractometer with a tuneable resolution and interchangeable radial collimators. Further, the routine operation of the instrument has been optimized by creating a virtual instrument, i.e. a three-dimensional computer representation of the diffractometer and samples, which assists in the planning and execution of experiments. On comparing ENGIN-X with its predecessor ENGIN, a 25X gain in performance is found, which has allowed the determination of stresses up to 60 mm deep in steel specimens. For comparison with constant-wavelength diffractometers, special attention has been paid to the absolute number of counts recorded during the experiments. A simple expression is presented for the estimation of counting times in TOF neutron strain scanning experiments.

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