The calculation of the neutron-protective characteristics of polymeric composite material
The paper presents data on the evaluation of neutron shielding properties of composite material based on polyalkaneimide matrix and fine titanium hydride. Data on the principal physical mechanical characteristics of the composite, on the average values of temperature coefficient of linear expansion, on thermal conductivity of samples under normal conditions and at elevated temperatures and flexural strength at bending temperature are provided. It was established that composition containing 70% by mass of titanium hydride filler is optimal according to its physical mechanical characteristics. It was demonstrated that introduction of titanium hydride in the composite solves the problem of changing geometrical parameters of the material when exposed to elevated temperatures, because the average value of thermal linear expansion factor of the composites ranges from 15⋅10–6 to 18.8⋅10–6 K–1, which is comparable with the values of thermal linear expansion factor equal to (10 – 15)⋅10–6 K–1for steel elements of structure of transportation packaging sets used at nuclear power plants. Neutron removal cross-sections and relaxation lengths theoretically calculated for flux density of fast neutrons with neutron energies exceeding 2 MeV were evaluated as the neutron-shielding characteristics of the developed composites. It was established that the main element in the composite determining the neutron removal cross-section and relaxation length for fast neutron flux density (with neutron energies E > 2 MeV) is hydrogen despite its low concentrations (less than 5% in composite). Remaining elements in the composition make much smaller contribution in the neutron-shielding properties of the composite. Analysis of the calculated results showed high neutron-absorbing properties of the proposed formulas of the developed composite.
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