Register to reply

Can one purchase depleted uranium?

by Aaronvan
Tags: depleted, purchase, uranium
Share this thread:
Aaronvan
#1
Dec21-12, 03:55 PM
P: 36
I'd like a small sphere of DU to illustrate mass, i.e. compare it to an equivalent (mass or radius) sphere of aluminum (say). I understand DU is used in airliners and yachts and it is safe so long as it is not aerosolized or particles are inhaled.

Are small samples of DU available commercially?
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Climate change increases risk of crop slowdown in next 20 years
Researcher part of team studying ways to better predict intensity of hurricanes
New molecule puts scientists a step closer to understanding hydrogen storage
berkeman
#2
Dec21-12, 04:02 PM
Mentor
berkeman's Avatar
P: 40,658
Quote Quote by Aaronvan View Post
I'd like a small sphere of DU to illustrate mass, i.e. compare it to an equivalent (mass or radius) sphere of aluminum (say). I understand DU is used in airliners and yachts and it is safe so long as it is not aerosolized or particles are inhaled.

Are small samples of DU available commercially?
Why would DU be used in an airliner?
Aaronvan
#3
Dec21-12, 04:04 PM
P: 36
For CG adjustments, I believe.

Astronuc
#4
Dec21-12, 06:41 PM
Admin
Astronuc's Avatar
P: 21,812
Can one purchase depleted uranium?

Quote Quote by berkeman View Post
Why would DU be used in an airliner?
Counterweight.
SteamKing
#5
Dec21-12, 07:25 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 6,290
In the US, DU can be possessed only by someone who holds a license to do so.
The license is issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (see this link:
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-co...t040-0025.html)
The holder is permitted to obtain DU only for certain specified purposes.
AlephZero
#6
Dec21-12, 07:28 PM
Engineering
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
P: 6,937
Quote Quote by berkeman View Post
Why would DU be used in an airliner?
I don't think it is used any more. Boeing changed to tungsten back in the 1980s.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/593649.stm

Of course an even better idea is to design planes so the the CG is in the right place without carrying excess weight around.
berkeman
#7
Dec21-12, 07:52 PM
Mentor
berkeman's Avatar
P: 40,658
Quote Quote by AlephZero View Post
Of course an even better idea is to design planes so that the CG is in the right place without carrying excess weight around.
Yeah, and it would seem much more optimal to have a lighter counterweight move over a longer length of the aircraft. Weird.
Astronuc
#8
Dec21-12, 08:04 PM
Admin
Astronuc's Avatar
P: 21,812
There are some exemptions from licensing, if the mass is below the limit for unimportant quantities.
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-co...t040-0013.html

Best to read the entire 10 CFR 40, and either contact the NRC or Agreement State.
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-co...s/cfr/part040/

One company indicates that it sells DU products.
http://www.2spi.com/catalog/chem/dep...-products.html


The idea of the license is to ensure proper care and disposition of the DU.


As for Boeing counterweights: Depending on model and configuration, 21 to 31 counterweights in each tail assembly. Each aircraft has between 692 and 1059 pounds of DU.
http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0321/ML032180089.pdf

"Further, starting in 1981, customer airlines were provided
tungsten replacement counterweights which may or may not
have been installed in place of the original depleted uranium
counterweights. At the worst case, the following estimate
can be made based on the number of aircraft and spare
depleted uranium counterweights sold. There were 550
aircraft produced between 1968 and 1981 utilizing depleted
uranium counterweights. With spares, there is a possible
world distribution of 15,000 weights (about 300 tons)."
Bandit127
#9
Dec21-12, 11:55 PM
P: 185
A bit off topic, but Concorde had to shift fuel around to maintain the correct CoG for flight trim. Up to 33 tons of fuel was available in the trim tanks for this.
http://www.concordesst.com/fuelsys.html
AlephZero
#10
Dec22-12, 03:58 PM
Engineering
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
P: 6,937
Quote Quote by berkeman View Post
Yeah, and it would seem much more optimal to have a lighter counterweight move over a longer length of the aircraft. Weird.
These counterweights don't move around. One reason for them is that it's a very tough problem working out an accurate CG position for a structure as complex as a B747, even with today's CAD systems, and for aircraft as old as the B747, the original detail drawings wouldn't have been done with a CAD system anyway.

So you built the first prototype, weighed it, and then "balanced" it to put the CG where the aerodynamics guys had assumed it would be. The reason for using material as dense as possible was to make the counterweights small enough to "hide" inside the aircraft nose or tail.

For operating the aircraft with different loading conditions etc, you can fine tune the CG by moving the fuel and/or cargo around.

In principle its a "simple" problem - just get the mass and CG positions of all the parts and add them up. The trouble starts when you try to collect ALL the data, including the "non-obvious" bits like the fasteners (nuts, bolts, rvets, wiring clips, etc), flight deck equipment etc - for example there is about a quarter of a ton of paint on a B747! All these "odds and ends" might add up to 10% of the total mass of the structure.
berkeman
#11
Dec22-12, 05:00 PM
Mentor
berkeman's Avatar
P: 40,658
Very interesting, thanks Aleph. Yet again I learn something new here at the PF.
Aaronvan
#12
Jan12-13, 01:21 AM
P: 36
www.goodfellow.com sells DU and other non-ferrous metals.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Depleted Uranium General Physics 20
Depleted Uranium Materials & Chemical Engineering 1
Depleted Uranium Current Events 19
Depleted uranium Nuclear Engineering 127