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Fluorinated Single Wall Nanotube/Polyethylene Composites for Multifunctional Radiation Protection

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2011

Merlyn X. Pulikkathara
Affiliation:
Center for Applied Radiation Research, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX 77446, U.S.A.
Meisha L. Shofner
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, U.S.A.
Richard T. Wilkins
Affiliation:
Center for Applied Radiation Research, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX 77446, U.S.A.
Jesus G. Vera
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, U.S.A.
Enrique V. Barrera
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, U.S.A.
Fernando J. Rodríguez-Macías
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, U.S.A.
Ranji K. Vaidyanathan
Affiliation:
Advanced Ceramics Research, E. Hemisphere Loop, Tucson, AZ 85706, U.S.A.
Catherine E. Green
Affiliation:
Advanced Ceramics Research, E. Hemisphere Loop, Tucson, AZ 85706, U.S.A.
Clay G. Condon
Affiliation:
Advanced Ceramics Research, E. Hemisphere Loop, Tucson, AZ 85706, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Fluorinated Single Wall Nanotubes (f-SWNTs) have been processed in polyethylene by an incipient wetting technique to achieve a well dispersed nanocomposite for radiation protection. In some cases, samples were further processed using the rapid prototyping method of extrusion freeform fabrication. Composites were exposed to 40 MeV proton radiation with a flux of about 1.7×107 protons/cm2/sec to a total fluence of 3×1010 protons/cm2.This exposure is consistent with a long-term space mission in low earth orbit. The samples were evaluated by means of Raman spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). These results were compared to the unexposed composite and unfilled polymer samples. This study has focused on the stability of the nanotube composites when exposed to radiation and prior to hydrogen exposure. It was shown that the stability of the functional group is not constant with SWNTs produced by different processes and that radiation exposure is capable of defluorinating SWNTs in polyethylene.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2003

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