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A radiochemical study of the mechanism of polishing glass Smith, John Graham

Abstract

In an effort to determine whether glass flows when polished uranium glasses were fused to non uranium glasses and polishings carried out in a direction from the active to the inactive side. Soda-lead-silicate and phosphate glasses were polished with rouge and ceric oxide. To locate any of the uranium glass which may have been transferred during the polishing, nuclear track plates were used. Thus by autoradiographs taken before and after polishing, any alpha particles from the uranium glass transferred to the side of the non uranium glass would have registered on the developed plates. This method was capable of detecting a 4.5 A° flowed layer or chips of uranium glass 0.019 mms in diameter. No evidence of any flow, greater than over a distance of 0.2 mms, was found by the authors. Experiments were also carried out using radioactive ceric oxide. Thus if the contact temperatures reached during polishing approached the softening point of the glass it was reasoned that the agent might, have become fused with the polished surface. By using this method it would have been possible to detect 2.3 X 10⁻⁷ grams of Ce0₂ spread over 6 cm² on the surface of the glass. By assuming that the Ce0₂ would fuse with and become part of the glass it was possible to detect a 15 A° layer of this changed glass, if 10% of this changed glass was CeO₂. The authors found no evidence of any fusion of the Ce0₂ with the glass under the conditions of polishing used in this project.

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