A Novel Radiation Shielding Material

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNL05AA08C
Agency Tracking Number: 034412
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: B3.06
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811-1558
DUNS: 799114574
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Scott O'Dell
 Principal Investigator
 (256) 851-7653
 scottodell@plasmapros.com
Business Contact
 Timothy McKechnie
Title: President
Phone: (256) 851-7653
Email: timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Radiation shielding simulations showed that epoxy loaded with 10-70% polyethylene would be an excellent shielding material against GCRs and SEPs. Milling produced an elemental boron coating on the polyethylene particles suitable for protecting against low energy neutrons. For up to 30 volume percent particle loading of the composite there was the near random distribution of particles needed to produce an excellent radiation shielding material. The mechanical properties of the composite system were found to decrease ~1000psi with each 10% increase in particle loading. The specific strength of the 10% B coated polyethylene particle epoxy composite was 206,529 in, within 85% of the specific strength of Al 2219. Using a stronger epoxy matrix, the specific strength of the composite developed during Phase II could easily equal or surpass that of Al 2219. During Phase II, radiation testing will be performed. Prototype shielding panels will be constructed. High tensile strength epoxy matrices will be investigated to provide sufficient tensile strength while optimizing the radiation shielding capabilities given by loading the matrix with B coated polyethylene particles. An integrated thermal protection system (TPS) for the optimized composite will be developed that also provides increased strength and impact resistance against micro-meteorites.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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