DWNT/Hydrogenated Fullerene Reinforced Polyethylene for Radiation Shielding Applications
Manned space exploration requires radiation protection, particularly since the impact of radiation on the health and safety of humans on extended missions is not known. The best material candidates are those with high hydrogen contents and low molecular weight, and thus polymers are excellent choices. However, their thermal stability and mechanical properties need to be improved. MER proposes to achieve this using a combination of DWNT with hydrogenated fullerenes, where the latter can be deposited inside the prior, achieving the so-called "peapod" materials. Developed composites will be characterized for mechanical performance and radiation hardness as a screening tool. Selected composites of varying thickness and composition will be chosen for more comprehensive testing in Phase II.
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