Boron-containing nonwoven polymeric nanofiber mats as neutron shields in compact nuclear fusion reactors

Mücahid Özcan, Erol Kam, Cengiz Kaya, Figen Kaya*

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18 Atıf (Scopus)


Composite materials that contain thermally and chemically stable boron compounds are attractive candidates for applications that require high neutron absorption due to the large neutron absorption cross-section of boron. Electrospun polymer nanofibers have a unique volume-to-surface area, incorporating carbon and hydrogen atoms in their molecular structure that could moderate and thermalize incident neutrons. Nonwoven nanofibers could in turn reduce neutron scattering and increase neutron absorption by providing large surfaces and better atom economy in the shield materials. The expected high absorption will result from improved neutron interaction with high neutron absorbance hydrogen, carbon, and boron atoms in the nanofibers through increased specific surface area and atom economy. In this work, elemental boron-doped PVA polymeric nanofibers are produced for the first time to date for the application of neutron shielding. With the increasing demand for nuclear power generation and radiation therapies in medicine, the need for producing lightweight and flexible materials that could replace the traditional heavy metal/metal carbide-based shields is vital. Similarly, the need for flexible materials that could shield neutrons is also becoming critical for aerospace applications. The effect of boron content on the quality of fibers and neutron shielding capacity is evaluated by using an Am-Be neutron source. Characterization studies of produced nanofibers were carried out by SEM, TGA, FT-IR, and XPS analyses. Results have shown that PVA-based nanofibers doped with wt% 0.1 to 0.5 boron, having fiber diameter distribution between 60 and 330 nm range, could absorb up to 6% of neutron flux.

Orijinal dilİngilizce
Sayfa (başlangıç-bitiş)7441-7450
Sayfa sayısı10
DergiInternational Journal of Energy Research
Basın numarası6
Yayın durumuYayınlandı - May 2022
Harici olarak yayınlandıEvet

Bibliyografik not

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


The authors are grateful for the financial support from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) under contract numbers 216M140 and 216M145. The authors also would like to acknowledge that this paper is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a PhD degree at Yıldız Technical University and supported under contract number FDK‐2019‐3742.

FinansörlerFinansör numarası
TUBITAK216M140, 216M145, FDK‐2019‐3742
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu

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