Design, Characterization and Molecular Dynamics Modeling of Epoxy/Gadolinium Nanocomposites as Radiation Shielding Structures
Nanoengineered polymer composites are likely to play an important role as radiation shielding material as well as structural material particularly for aerospace applications involving long-term space missions. Among different types of nanomaterials, Gadolinium (Gd) nanoparticles in general have an excellent neutron absorbing capability because of its highest neutron capture cross section. In this research, the effects of different loadings of Gd nanoparticles on neutron shielding efficiency of epoxy nanocomposites were investigated both experimentally as well as analytically. Since, the thermo-mechanical properties of these structural composites strongly depends on the particle/matrix interface, the effect of different percentage of loadings of Gd nanoparticles on curing process and thermomechanical properties of epoxy composites were investigated in order to optimize the design of the radiation shielding structure. In addition, molecular dynamics (MD) models simulating crosslinking of Epon 862 with curing agent DETDA were developed. The aim of these models is to further study the influence of the interface between matrix and Gd nanoparticles with radiation absorption properties at a molecular level, on the thermo-mechanical properties of nanocomposites.
Author: Nasim Abuali Galehdari, Ingrid Padilla Espinosa, Ajit D. Kelkar, Karteek K. Bejagam, Samrendra Singh, and Sanket A. Deshmukh
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017