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Comparative assessment of different aluminum alloys for neutron beam window applications

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Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
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The choice of an aluminum alloy window along a neutron beam requires careful consideration depending on the requirements of the instrument end station. The windows should generally be thin to minimize loss of neutrons from the beam due to scattering and absorption but still thick enough to be structurally sound for safety requirements. The microstructure of the material is dependent on the alloy and the preparation method and may introduce scattering artifacts or smearing of the instrument resolution that are not desirable. In this manuscript, SANS and total cross section measurements of several different aluminum alloys will be presented and compared in order to provide some useful insight to engineers working on future neutron instrument design.