F. Jamali, S. M. J. Mortazavi, M. Kardan, M. A. Mosleh-Shirazi, S. Sina, J. Rahpeyma
December 9, 2017
Although radiation exposures in manned space missions are normally below the limits recommended to NASA by NCRP, in long-duration deep space exploratory missions astronauts may receive relatively high doses of ionizing radiation. Novel light polyethylene-based composites can be considered as effective radiation shields in space explorations. However, normally these composites cannot provide desired mechanical properties. Over the past several years our laboratories have focused on developing efficient methods for both physical and biological protection of the crew in long term space missions. In this study carbon nanotubes and either nano-sized or micro-sized boron carbide (B 4 C) fillers were incorporated into the continuous phase of low density polyethylene (LDPE). In the next phase, the mechanical characteristics of the composites as well as their neutron attenuation properties were studied. Findings of this study indicated enhanced mechanical properties accompanied by an enhanced shielding efficiency for neutrons at some specific weight fraction of the fillers.