A Novel Radiation Shielding Material

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$70,000.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNL04AB31P
Agency Tracking Number:
034412
Solicitation Year:
2003
Solicitation Topic Code:
B3.06
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 MOORES MILL RD, HUNTSVILLE, AL, 35811-1558
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
799114574
Principal Investigator:
Scott O'Dell
Principal Investigator
(256) 851-7653
scottodell@plasmapros.com
Business Contact:
Timothy McKechnie
President
(256) 851-7653
timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
In order to safely explore space, humans must be protected from radiation. There are 2 predominant sources of extraterrestrial ionizing radiation, namely, Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) consisting primarily of nuclei of atoms (up to Fe) and Solar Energetic Particles (SEP), which includes mainly high-energy protons. In addition, neutrons that are formed due to breakdown of the incoming radiation flux in the shielding material have to be accounted for. An innovative, castable, boron coated, polyethylene epoxy is potentially a cost-effective lightweight radiation shielding material possessing structural as well as shielding properties. During Phase I, techniques will be evaluated for coating polyethylene particles with boron to prevent sedimentation of the higher density boron in the epoxy. In addition, techniques will be developed to uniformly disperse these particles in an epoxy matrix. Radiation simulations will also be performed. From these simulations it will be determined what parameters, such as volume percent boron coated, polyethylene particles, are necessary for this material to provide optimal protection to humans and electronics in a deep space environment. During Phase II, the fabrication techniques will be optimized. Samples will be produced for extensive mechanical properties testing as well as for radiation testing.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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