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Nondestructive Testing Research and Development Efforts at Argonne National Laboratory: An Overview

The Nuclear Science and Engineering Division of Argonne National Laboratory has been involved for many years with research and development efforts associated with the nondestructive testing and evaluation (NDT/NDE) of critical components and structures in power generation (nuclear and fossil plants), aerospace, defense, homeland security, medical, and scientific applications. A wide range of NDT methods—including electromagnetic testing, infrared and thermal testing, radiographic testing, acoustic emission testing, and ultrasonic testing—has been used for material evaluation applications. Argonne’s expertise in analytical and numerical modeling of thermal, acoustic, and electromagnetic interaction with complex media, as well as advanced signal processing and data analysis, has been utilized extensively for NDT applications. A brief description is provided of research and development efforts on selected NDT techniques for applica-tions to metal alloys, ceramics, and advanced composite materials. The most active areas of research are focused on the NDT of materials and systems used in nuclear energy applications. They are discussed in some detail in this paper. These areas include electromagnetic and ultrasonic techniques used for in-service inspection and monitoring of light water reactor and advanced reactor components and structures.

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