Rare-Earth Oxides as Alternative High-Energy Photon Protective Fillers in HDPE Composites: Theoretical Aspects
【Abstract】 This work theoretically determined the high-energy photon shielding properties of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) composites containing rare-earth oxides, namely samarium oxide (Sm2O3), europium oxide (Eu2O3), and gadolinium oxide (Gd2O3), for potential use as lead-free X-ray-shielding and gamma-shielding materials using the XCOM software package. The considered properties were the mass attenuation coefficient (µm), linear attenuation coefficient (µ), half value layer (HVL), and lead equivalence (Pbeq) that were investigated at varying photon energies (0.001–5 MeV) and filler contents (0–60 wt.%). The results were in good agreement (less than 2% differences) with other available programs (Phy-X/PSD) and Monte Carlo particle transport simulation code, namely PHITS, which showed that the overall high-energy photon shielding abilities of the composites considerably increased with increasing rare-earth oxide contents but reduced with increasing photon energies. In particular, the Gd2O3/HDPE composites had the highest µm values at photon energies of 0.1, 0.5, and 5 MeV, due to having the highest atomic number (Z). Furthermore, the Pbeq determination of the composites within the X-ray energy ranges indicated that the 10 mm thick samples with filler contents of 40 wt.% and 50 wt.% had Pbeq values greater than the minimum requirements for shielding materials used in general diagnostic X-ray rooms and computerized tomography rooms, which required Pbeq values of at least 1.0 and 1.5 mmPb, respectively. In addition, the comparisons of µm, µ, and HVL among the rare-earth oxide/HDPE composites investigated in this work and other lead-free X-ray shielding composites revealed that the materials developed in this work exhibited comparable X-ray shielding properties in comparison with that of the latter, implying great potential to be used as effective X-ray shielding materials in actual applications.
【Author】 Kiadtisak Saenboonruang, Worawat Poltabtim, Arkarapol Thumwong, Theerasarn Pianpanit, Chanis Rattanapongs
【Journal】 Polymers(IF：3.2) Time：2021-06-11