Friction and Wear of Radiation Resistant Composites, Coatings and Ceramics in Vacuum and Low Temperature Environment
Superconducting magnets used in accelerators such as the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) are exposed to fast neutron and gamma irradiation. Some of the components used in the SSC cryostat are fabricated from organic materials with low radiation resistance. The slide bearing material presently supporting the magnet assembly contains Teflon and must be replaced with a material of improved radiation resistance. A group of sliding materials, most of which have suitable radiation resistance, were tested under conditions of pressure, temperature, velocity, and vacuum typically encountered in normal cryostat operation. As this was a preliminary screening test, the samples were only cooled to liquid nitrogen temperature. The group of materials tested consists of composites, coated base metals, and ceramics. The criteria was to maintain a low coefficient of friction throughout the experiment in spite of changes in temperature and vacuum. Subsequent tests will expose finalist materials to fast neutron irradiation at liquid helium temperatures. This paper describes the experimental setup and presents data of the friction coefficient measurements taken for the various samples.
KeywordsStainless Steel Plate Composite Group Fast Neutron Irradiation Magnet Assembly Cold Mass
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