Date of Award

8-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Polymer Engineering

Major Professor

Roberto S. Benson

Committee Members

Bin Hu, Gajanan Bhat

Abstract

The two main applications of ionizing radiation and Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) are in space radiation shielding and articulating orthopedic implants (hips and knees). Samples are exposed to both proton and gamma irradiation. Proton irradiation doses are varied from 0-8.7 kGy. Proton Irradiation showed significant increases in crosslinking on the surface, which interferes with recrystallization of the polymer. Gamma Irradiation is conducted at a high (2.9 kGy/hr) and low (0.25 kGy/hr) dose rate at integral doses of 75 and 150 kGy. Gamma irradiation shows significant crosslinking and recrystallization in the center of the sample where oxygen diffusion is limited.

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