Elsevier Science, Oxford/Amsterdam , Amsterdam, 2021
In the content of this book 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℃ for 2h in air and at 1500℃ for 5h in argon atmosphere, respectively) of polymeric gels, boron carbide (B4C) powders were obtained. The morphology of the particles was inspected by SEM, HR-FESEM and TEM techniques. The average particle size and distribution of the B4C powders were measured. The phase composition, stoichiometry, total boron and carbon amount and the density of synthesized powders was also characterized. The results indicate that nano sized nuclear grade boron carbide (B4C) powder with high crystallinity, polyhedral equiaxed particle morphology and without residual carbon and/or boron oxide content were obtained. Additionally, synthesized nano B4C powders were used as reinforcement in the LDPE matrix with different filler amounts (5 to 15 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 accordance with the filler particle size and amount.