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Motorized Beam Alignment of a Commercial X-ray Diffractometer
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Author and Affiliation:
Van Zandt, Noah R.(Cedarville Coll., OH, United States);
Myers, James F.(Cedarville Coll., OH, United States);
Rogers, Richard B(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States)
Abstract: X-ray diffraction (XRD) is a powerful analysis method that allows researchers to noninvasively probe the crystalline structure of a material. This includes the ability to determine the crystalline phases present, quantify surface residual stresses, and measure the distribution of crystallographic orientations. The Structures and Materials Division at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) heavily uses the on-site XRD lab to characterize advanced metal alloys, ceramics, and polymers. One of the x-ray diffractometers in the XRD lab (Bruker D8 Discover) uses three different x-ray tubes (Cu, Cr, and Mn) for optimal performance over numerous material types and various experimental techniques. This requires that the tubes be switched out and aligned between experiments. This alignment maximizes the x-ray tube s output through an iterative process involving four set screws. However, the output of the x-ray tube cannot be monitored during the adjustment process due to standard radiation safety engineering controls that prevent exposure to the x-ray beam when the diffractometer doors are open. Therefore, the adjustment process is a very tedious series of blind adjustments, each followed by measurement of the output beam using a PIN diode after the enclosure doors are shut. This process can take up to 4 hr to perform. This technical memorandum documents an in-house project to motorize this alignment process. Unlike a human, motors are not harmed by x-ray radiation of the energy range used in this instrument. Therefore, using motors to adjust the set screws will allow the researcher to monitor the x-ray tube s output while making interactive adjustments from outside the diffractometer. The motorized alignment system consists of four motors, a motor controller, and a hand-held user interface module. Our goal was to reduce the alignment time to less than 30 min. The time available was the 10-week span of the Lewis' Educational and Research Collaborative Internship Project (LERCIP) summer internship program and the budget goal was $1200. In this report, we will describe our motorization design and discuss the results of its implementation.
Publication Date: Apr 01, 2013
Document ID:
20130013469
(Acquired May 20, 2013)
Subject Category: ELECTRONICS AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
Report/Patent Number: NASA/TM-2013-217853, E-18641
Document Type: Technical Report
Contract/Grant/Task Num: WBS 561581.02.08.03.47.01.02
Financial Sponsor: NASA Glenn Research Center; Cleveland, OH, United States
Organization Source: NASA Glenn Research Center; Cleveland, OH, United States
Description: 16p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: ALIGNMENT; AUTOMATIC CONTROL; CONTROLLERS; DIFFRACTOMETERS; ELECTRIC MOTORS; RADIATION PROTECTION; X RAY DIFFRACTION
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