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We describe two new beamlines for radiation effects research at the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility. Protons with energies up to 205 MeV are available. One of the beamlines offers momentum selected beams at energies as low as 52 MeV.
The effects of the space environment on polytetrafluorethylene and some fluorinated polymers, copolymers, and blends are critically reviewed. It is shown that in low altitude orbits such as Low Earth Orbit and Geostationary Orbit the presence of both ionizing radiation and atomic oxygen triggers a synergetic degradation of materials based on fluorinated polymers. The behavior is due to the lability of the in-chain alkyl radical to oxygen attack. It is concluded that fluorinated polymers should not be used as materials for space applications, as long as the mission implies low Earth orbits.
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