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Microstructural design of lead oxide–epoxy composites for radiation shielding purposes

Authors

  • Nurul Zahirah Noor Azman,

    1. Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
    2. School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia
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  • Salim Ahmed Siddiqui,

    1. Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
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  • Robin Hart,

    1. Department of Radiology, Royal Perth Hospital, East Perth, Western Australia 6001, Australia
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  • It Meng Low

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
    • Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
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Abstract

Composite epoxy samples filled with PbO and Pb3O4 were fabricated to investigate the mass attenuation characteristics of the composites to X-rays in the diagnostic imaging energy range. The effect of density on the attenuation ability of the composites for radiation shielding purposes was studied using a calibrated X-ray machine. Characterization of the microstructure properties of the synthesized composites was performed using synchrotron radiation diffraction, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The results indicate that the attenuation ability of the composites increased with an increase in density. The particle size of WO3 fillers has a negligible effect on the value of mass attenuation coefficient. Microstructural analyses have confirmed the existence of fairly uniform dispersion of fillers within the matrix of epoxy matrix with the average particle size of 1–5 μm for composites with filler loading of ≤ 30 wt % and 5–15 μm for composites with filler loading of ≥ 50 wt %. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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