Effect of environmental hydrogen pressure on the hydrogen yield from x-irradiated polyethylenes


  • Paper presented at the meeting of the American Physical Society, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, August 28–30, 1963.

  • Prod. No. 1474


An experimental assembly incorporating a capacitance-type, differential pressure transducer, which provides resolutions of 3 × 10−4 torr at pressures extending to 30 torr, has been employed to monitor the effect of hydrogen environmental pressure on the hydrogen yield from x-irradiated polyethylenes. Contrary to the observations of previous investigators, the hydrogen yield is found to be independent of hydrogen environmental pressures extending over the critical range up to at least 30 torr. It is demonstrated that neglecting the temperature and density gradients inherent in closed-volume irradiation assemblies employing cryogenic traps to separate liberated gases into condensable and noncondensable fractions may lead to erroneous conclusions with respect to gas yields arising from the irradiation of materials. A homogeneous, variable-plate separation ion chamber consisting of a polyethylene body and utilizing flowing ethylene as the cavity gas was employed to obtain total volatile G values of 3.6 ± 0.4, 3.8 ± 0.4, and 4.0 ± 0.4 molecules/100 e.v., for Marlex 6002, Dow Ziegler (Q 917.5), and DuPont A-1410 polyethylenes, respectively. A hydrogen contribution of approximately 98 mole-% was obtained with this experimental method.