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Abstract  

The centification of standard reference materials is of fundamental importance for environmental scientists to proceed with their own quality control programs or calibration procedures. As part of the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) program, we participated in the certification of a hazardous waste material. Our efforts concentrated on judiciously using thermal and epithermal neutron activation analysis in conjunction with Compton suppression techniques. We have demonstrated that besides lowering the detection limit for several elements usually not reported by conventional NAA, Compton suppression is ideally suited to substantially reduce certain spectrla interferences. A detailed comprehensive study was undertaken using this method to highlight which isotopes can be most favorably used.

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Abstract  

In order to determine the elemental concentrations of three new soil standard reference materials SRMs 2709, 2710 and 2711 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a comparative study of different medium-lived neutron activation analysis methods was carefully performed. Three irradiation conditions (1-hour thermal, 1-hour epithermal and 5-minute epithermal) and two counting modes (normal and Compton suppression) have been evaluated for following ten elements: As, Au, Cd, Ga, K, La, Mo, Sb, Sm, and W. The results show that the method of 5-minute epithermal and a 1-day decay is the optimum way to analyze Ga, while the addition of the Compton suppression is very beneficial for the determination of K. Using the Compton suppression system in conjunction with the 1-hour epithermal and a 1-week decay, is ideal to determine Au, Cd, Mo and W, while routine 1-hour thermal and a 1-week decay, is adequate to determine As, Sb, Sm and La in concentrations found in soil.

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Abstract  

As part of an ongoing Great Lakes deposition study, we have determined a series of heavy metals in air filter samples collected near Lake Ontario. To decrease our detection limits for key elements used in our receptor modeling, we have employed instrumental epithermal neutron activation analysis (NAA) and Compton suppression techniques. Our detection limits were much better than those with thermal NAA, typically, 0.3 ng for Sb, 0.7 ng for As, 8 ng for Cd, 0.2 ng for In, 14 ng for I, 5 ng for Mo and 2 ng for U. Silicon, which is usually not reported in conventional NAA results for air filters, was routinely determined at the 60 g level. Accuracy was corroborated by analyzing the certified reference material concurrently.

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Abstract  

The curing characteristics of adicyandiamide-cured epoxy system under the influence of solvents in a closed environment were studied by means of isothermal differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The DSC analyses revealed that the presence of solvent results in decreases in the curing exotherm, the initial curing rate, the glass transition temperature, the reaction rate and the reaction order of the epoxy resin. The greatest decreases were caused by the solvent with the highest boiling temperature. A change in temperature-dependent curing route due to the heat absorbed during solvent evaporation is responsible for the difference. The FTIR analyses confirmed that the composition of the cured resin is affected by the solvent, the curing temperature and the specimen configuration. As compared with those obtained from open systems, specimens produced in a closed environment have an enhanced curing exotherm, initial curing rate, glass transition temperature, reaction rate and reaction order because of the retention of volatile catalytic by-products.

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Abstract  

Cigarette smoking is a major source of particles released in indoor environments. A comprehensive study of the elemental distribution in cigarettes and cigarette smoke has been completed. Specifically, concentrations of thirty elements have been determined for the components of 15 types of cigarettes. Components include tobacco, ash, butts, filters, and cigarette paper. In addition, particulate matter from mainstream smoke (MS) and sidestream smoke (SS) were analyzed. The technique of elemental determination used in the study is instrumental neutron activation analysis. The results show that certain heavy metals, such as As, Cd, K, Sb and Zn, are released into the MS and SS. These metals may then be part of the health risk of exposure to smoke. Other elements are retained, for the most part, in cigarette ash and butts. The elemental distribution among the cigarette components and smoke changes for different smoking conditions.

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The stability behaviour of a thin-film superconductor under a localized release of thermal disturbance is investigated. Two-dimensional conjugate film/substrate conduction equation with anisotropic thermal conductivity of the film, and Joule heat are employed to investigate effects of substrate and thermal properties on the intrinsic stability and quenching recovery. To consider the thermal boundary resistance between film and substrate, an interfacial-layer model (ILM) with very low diffusivity and an acoustic mismatch model (AMM) are employed. Results show that the thermal boundary resistance influences strongly the intrinsic stability. Thermal boundary resistance increases intrinsic stability if the thermal conductivity of the substrate or the disturbance energy is large. Higher Biot numbers and thermal conductivity ratios of film to substrate in longitudinal direction influence stability favorably. We demonstrate also that operation of a film/substrate system, such as YBCO/MgO, is either intrinsically stable or irrecoverably unstable.

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We establish a sharp estimate for some multilinear operator related to Bochner--Riesz operator. As an application, we obtain the weighted norm inequality and L log L type estimate for the multilinear operator.

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Abstract  

The separation of99Mo from low-enriched uranium (LEU, 19.5%235U) targets was evaluated using natural uranium (NU) and non-radioactive tracers. Neutron activation analysis was used to determine (1) the efficiency of molybdenum recovery and (2) the decontamination factor of numerous fission product elements from the molybdenum product. Using NU and non-radioactive elements simplified procedures and allowed tests to be completed in a fume hood instead of a shielded cell. During activation of the non-radioactive tracers, uranium fission occurs, which can interfere with subsequent gamma-ray analysis. A comparison was made of the interferences caused by these fission products from both NU and LEU.

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Abstract  

Fifty air filters with fine and coarse fractions were prepared from NIST 2710 contaminated soil. Eighteen pairs were made and sent to laboratories of the Coordinated Research Program (CRP) on Applied Research on Air Pollution Using Nuclear-Related Analytical Techniques for elemental determination. The results of this intercomparison are discussed in this paper.

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Abstract  

Organic peroxides (OPs) have caused many momentous explosions and runaway reactions, resulting from thermal instability, chemical pollutants, and even mechanical shock. In Taiwan, dicumyl peroxide (DCPO), due to its unstable reactive nature, has caused two thermal explosions and runaway reaction incidents in the manufacturing process. To evaluate thermal hazards of DCPO in a batch reactor, we studied thermokinetic parameters, such as heat of decomposition (†H d), exothermic onset temperature (T 0), maximum temperature rise ((dT/dt)max), maximum pressure rise ((dP/dt)max), self-heating rate (dT/dt), etc., via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and vent sizing package 2 (VSP2).

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