New polymer composite protects against radiation as good as lead

Researchers have developed a lightweight and durable material consisting of a polymer compound coated with particles of bismuth trioxide that effectively blocks ionizing radiation.

Traditional radiation shielding materials are often expensive or harmful to humans and the environment, and require extended high-temperature processing during manufacturing. However, a team of scientists from North Carolina State University have presented a promising new compound that does not have such disadvantages..

In the course of research, they found that a polymer composite based on polymethyl methacrylate with the addition of Bi2O3 particles (up to 44% of the total mass) can serve as an effective protection against gamma rays and other types of radiation. Since UV curing was used to cure the compound, it only takes a few minutes to be exposed to UV light to produce it at room temperature..

New polymer composite protects against radiation as good as lead

Sample tests have shown that the new material provides adequate shielding and is lightweight, durable and safe. This allows it to be used in various fields such as medical imaging, radiation therapy and space exploration..

We also previously reported on the development of a new carbon nanostructure with a higher mechanical strength than diamond..

text: Ilya Bauer, photo: publika

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