Gamma radiation shielding properties of poly (methyl methacrylate) / Bi2O3 composites

Da Cao, Yang Ge, Mohamed Bourham, Dan Moneghan
2020 Nuclear Engineering and Technology  
This work investigated the gamma-ray shielding performance, and the physical and mechanical properties of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) composites embedded with 0-44.0 wt% bismuth trioxide (Bi 2 O 3 ) fabricated by the fast ultraviolet (UV) curing method. The results showed that the addition of Bi 2 O 3 had significantly improved the gamma shielding ability of PMMA composites. Linear Mass attenuation coefficient and half-value layer, and mass attenuation coefficient were examined using five
more » ... gamma sources and Co-60). The high loading of Bi 2 O 3 in the PMMA samples improved the micro-hardness to nearly seven times that of the pure PMMA. With these enhancements, it was demonstrated that PMMA/Bi 2 O 3 composites are promising gamma shielding materials. Furthermore, the fast UV curing exerts its great potential in significantly shortening the production cycle of shielding material to enable rapid manufacturing. Introduction Advanced radiation shielding materials play a critical role in many applications, including nuclear medical imaging and therapy, nuclear waste storage, space exploration, and high-energy physics experiments. Unwanted exposure to ionizing radiation could be biologically hazardous to both humans and the environment, as it can lead to organ damage, cell mutation, component failure, and other harmful effects. When photon type radiation, such as gamma rays, travel through matter, there are three major interactions that can occur: the photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, and pair production (for Eγ > 1.022 MeV). All these processes lead to a partial or complete energy transfer from photons to electrons. Materials with a high atomic number (Z) have a better gamma shielding ability than lower Z materials due to their higher interaction probability with photons. To mitigate or eliminate the influence of gamma radiation, lead, copper, stainless steel, and other high-Z materials [1] have historically been applied as shielding materials. However, these traditional shielding materials are costly, heavy, and often toxic to the environment. There is an increasing demand for developing new radiation shielding materials that can attenuate both
doi:10.1016/ fatcat:ryviyoxvpbahffje4bh7ejffqm