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Researche of the structure and properties of radio- and radiation-protective polymer nanocomposites


V.N. Gulbin – Ph.D.(Eng.), Senior Research Scientist, Head of Department РМ, JSC «EMC «Vega» Corp. (Moscow)
N.S. Kolpakov – Ph.D.(Eng.), Deputy General Director по науке, JSC «EMC «Vega» Corp. (Moscow)
V.V. Gorkavenko – Ph.D.(Phys.-Math.), Senior Research Scientist, Head of Department, JSC «EMC «Vega» Corp. (Moscow)
A.A. Boykov – Ph.D.(Eng.), Research Scientist, NUST «MIS&S» (Moscow)

The structure, physical-mechanical and functional properties of complex radio- and radiation-protective polymeric nanocomposites with various gamma, neutron and electromagnetic radiation absorbers have been studied. To protect against gamma and neutron radiation, boron nitride, boron carbide, nanotungsten and tungsten boride were used. Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene was used as a matrix material for polymer nanocomposites. To absorb electromagnetic microwave radiation, nanocarbon with a particle size of 5−10 nm was used. It is established that in the investigated nanocomposites due to the use of radiation-absorbing fillers, the absorption of thermal neutrons reaches a 25-fold value, while the attenuation coefficient of gamma radiation increases by 30−50%. The use of tungsten boride as a filler results in the smallest change in the physico-mechanical properties of the polymer matrix, but the nanocomposite possesses both gamma and neutron-absorbing properties. Introduction to the polymer matrix up to 20 wt.% Nanocarbon leads to an increase in radio-absorbing properties up to full absorption with a low reflection loss factor. It has been established that in the polymeric nanocomposites the relative elongation decreases noticeably with increasing filler content, but the elastic modulus and yield strength increase, which is associated with high adhesion interaction at the polymer-filler interface. Measurements of the attenuation coefficients of the gamma radiation of an isotope with an energy Eγ = 122 keV have shown an increase in the attenuation coefficient of γ radiation to a value of 1.3−1.5. Neutron tests have shown that the transmittance of neutron fluxes depends on the concentration of boron-containing fillers, and depends very much on the neutron transport velocity. It is established that the absorption coefficient of thermal neutrons increases significantly and reaches a 25-fold value. At the same time, the absorption of thermal neutrons occurs to the greatest extent with fillers from B4C and BN.
The obtained results of the study of the structure and properties of radio- and radiation-protective nanocomposites indicate the prospects of using nanocomposites based on UHMWPE filled with inorganic fillers for complex radio and radiation protection in products for the protection of personnel and equipment operating under conditions of increased background of penetrating gamma and neutron Emissions and EMP.

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