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Effect of neutron radiation on the mechanical and thermophysical properties of nanoengineered polymer composites

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2017

Nasim Abuali Galehdari
Affiliation:
Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Department of Nanoengineering, NC A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27401, USA
Ajit D. Kelkar*
Affiliation:
Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Department of Nanoengineering, NC A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27401, USA
*
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: Kelkar@ncat.edu
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Abstract

Polymer nanocomposites are being considered as future materials to effectively attenuate high energy radiations. The present work addresses effects of neutron radiation on the mechanical properties of lightweight multifunctional polymer composite which were fabricated by dispersing nanoparticles with radiation shielding properties in an epoxy polymer. Three different types of nanoparticles including boron nanopowder, gadolinium, and boron carbide, which are known for excellent radiation absorbing characteristics, were dispersed into epoxy resin to form core sheets for final hybrid sandwich structure. The neutron radiation shielding performance of nanocomposites and their mechanical and thermophysical properties were investigated. The study indicates that the neutron shielding efficiency increased significantly by introduction of nanoparticles. Moreover, the mechanical testing and thermophysical analysis showed that the core materials can retain the structural integrity after they are exposed to the highly thermalized neutron radiation in steady-state mode with a flux of 3 × 1013 n/cm2/s.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2017 

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