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Method for making radioactive metal articles having small dimensions

United States Patent

6,132,677
October 17, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
A method for making a radioactive article such as wire, includes the steps of providing a metal article having a first shape, such a cylinder, that is either radioactive itself or can be converted to a second, radioactive isotope by irradiation; melting the metal article one or more times; optionally adding an alloying metal to the molten metal in order to enhance ductility or other properties; placing the metal article having the first shape (e.g., cylindrical) into a cavity in the interior of an extrusion body (e.g., a cylinder having a cylindrical cavity therein); extruding the extrusion body and the article having the first shape located in the cavity therein, resulting in an elongated extrusion body and an article having a second shape; removing the elongated extrusion body, for example by chemical means, leaving the elongated inner article substantially intact; optionally repeating the extrusion procedure one or more times; and then drawing the elongated article to still further elongate it, into wire, foil, or another desired shape. If the starting metal is enriched in a radioactive isotope or a precursor thereof, the end product can provide a more intense radiation source than conventionally manufactured radioactive wire, foil, or the like.
Ohriner; Evan K. (Knoxville, TN)
Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation (Oak Ridge, TN)
09/ 299,245
April 26, 1999
This invention was made with Government support under contract DE-AC05-96OR22464 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation. The Government has certain rights in this invention.