Electrospun hexagonal boron nitride/CNT reinforced nanocomposite fiber mats for cosmic radiation shielding


ERSOY S., Özcan M., KAYA C., KAYA F.

Journal of Vinyl and Additive Technology, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/vnl.22125
  • Journal Name: Journal of Vinyl and Additive Technology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Chemical Abstracts Core, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: boron nitride, carbon nanotubes, electrospinning, nanocomposite, radiation shielding
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

A novel methodology is introduced to asses the efficacy of cosmic radiation shielding through the fabrication of electrospun nanocomposite fiber mats reinforced with hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). These mats were fabricated using various h-BN particles synthesized with 1 M boric acid and four distinct 1 M nitrogen sources to produce polyethylene oxide (PEO) nanofibers via the electrospinning method at 15 kV, a 43.0 μL/min pumping rate, and a 20 cm distance with a maximum thickness of 10 μm. High neutron shielding capability nanocomposite fibers denoted BN-F4 (spun with h-BN [melamine]/CNT powders in a 5 wt% PEO solution) and BN-F5 (spun with h-BN [urea]/CNT powders in a 5 wt% PEO solution) were produced. By calculating the theoretical photon transmittance and evaluating the neutron shielding efficiency with an Am-Be neutron source and a BF3 neutron detector, the cosmic radiation shielding capability of nanocomposite mats was discussed. BN-F4 and BN-F5 exhibited neutron shielding properties of 7.124% and 6.37% for 3.82 and 1.87 g/mL, respectively. This research establishes a new benchmark in the fabrication of flexible, ultrathin, and lightweight radiation shielding materials and enhances the practicality of nanocomposites reinforced with h-BN and CNTs by incorporating synthesizing and characterizing steps. Highlights: In the study, hexagonal boron nitride production was carried out with four different nitrogen sources and which one showed better structural and morphological properties was supported by analysis. Additionally, an optimization study of nanofibers by electrospinning by adding CNT and h-BN particles with PEO polymer is included. It is thought that the production of h-BN and nanofiber work as a radiation shielding feature for use in space studies will be innovative and contribute to the deficiency in the literature.