Roughly one-third to one-half of all SANS users use the 10-position (10CB) and/or the 6-position (6CB) cooling blocks. The 6CB is exclusive to the CHRNS USANS instrument. A 10CB is available at all other SANS instruments. The sample changers are heated and cooled using a thermal fluid passing through the outer walls of the block. Typically, the circulating bath temperature is used as the control point and the block temperature is recorded in a log file.
Temperatures from 5°C to 90°C can be achieved with an accuracy of 0.5°C when used with a NESLAB© circulating bath filled with a 50%/50% mixture of water and ethylene glycol. Temperatures from -25°C to 130°C can be achieved with an accuracy of 0.2°C when used with a Julabo© or Huber© circulating bath filled with silicon oil. The silicon oil configuration is currently available on NG7 SANS and CHRNS USANS. Every temperature block has an RTD installed to monitor and record the sample block temperature. On NG7 SANS, a 2nd RTD is installed on the changer and is used as the control temperature.
To ensure optimal temperature stability, quartz windows are installed before the sample and silicon or quartz windows are after the sample. Quartz is optically transparent and transmits a laser beam used for the rough alignment of the sample block.