Chapter 20 - Synthesis of nuclear-grade nano-sized boron carbide powders and its application in LDPE matrix composites for neutron shielding

Avcıoğlu S., Buldu Aktürk M., Kaya F., Kaya C.

in: Composite Materials: Manufacturing, Properties and Applications, It-Meng Low,Yu Dong, Editor, Elsevier Science, Oxford/Amsterdam , Oxford, pp.543-579, 2021

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science, Oxford/Amsterdam 
  • City: Oxford
  • Page Numbers: pp.543-579
  • Editors: It-Meng Low,Yu Dong, Editor
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In this chapter, the synthesis of nuclear-grade nano-boron carbide (B4C) powders and its use as reinforcement in polymer matrix composites for radiation shielding applications were presented. Boron-containing polymeric gels were synthesized by using a modified sol-gel technique. After two-stage heat treatment (at 675°C for 2 h in air and at 1500°C for 5 h in an argon atmosphere) of polymeric gels, boron carbide (B4C) powders were obtained. The morphology of the particles was inspected by SEM and TEM techniques. The average particle size and distribution of the B4C powders were measured. The phase composition, stoichiometry, total boron, and carbon content and the density of synthesized powders were also characterized. The results indicate that nuclear-grade boron carbide (B4C) powder with high crystallinity, polyhedral equiaxed particle morphology, and without residual carbon and/or boron oxide content was obtained. In addition, synthesized nano-B4C powders were used as reinforcement in the LDPE matrix with different filler amounts (0.6–10 wt.%) to obtain light and flexible composite materials for shielding applications. The shielding performance and mechanical properties of B4C-LDPE nanocomposites were studied and discussed in terms of the filler particle characteristics and amount.