A Novel Ultra-light Structure for Radiation Shielding

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ABSTRACT XU, SIQI. A Novel Ultra-light Structure for Radiation Shielding. (Under the direction of Mohamed A. Bourham and Afsaneh Rabiei.) The purpose of this research has been to design and investigate the applicability of a novel ultra-light structure to meet today’s need for efficient, lightweight and multifunctional radiation shielding materials. A unique class of material, metal foams, has been studied in this work, the first time for which to be considered in the radiation shielding applications. A structure which consists of a plastic container and open-cell aluminum foams has been designed and investigated for its nuclear radiation shielding properties. The research involves investigation of this structure for its attenuation ability of gamma-ray and thermal neutron based on measurements and analyses. The experimental work includes gamma-ray attenuation measurements and thermal neutron measurements, both of which were carried out in transmission geometries. The gamma-ray attenuation measurements were performed with a 2 mCi Cesium-137 source and a 1.2 mCi Cobalt-60 source. The thermal neutron attenuation measurements were conducted at the NCSU PULSTAR Reactor Beam port #5. By filling water and boric acid solution with different concentrations into the open-cell foams, the attenuated intensities were measured. The attenuations of the beams were calculated compared among different types of samples with different thicknesses. Results of the tests have revealed the improved attenuation ability of metal foams filled with fluids compared to bulk materials, as well as weight-saving advantages. Potential applications in radiation shielding applications have been implied.



radiation shielding





Nuclear Engineering