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Polímeros

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1428versão On-line ISSN 1678-5169

Resumo

ALVES, Andreia L. S.; NASCIMENTO, Lucio F. C.  e  MIGUEZ SUAREZ, João Carlos. Ballistic behaviour of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene: effect of gamma radiation. Polímeros [online]. 2004, vol.14, n.2, pp.105-111. ISSN 1678-5169.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-14282004000200014.

The fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites (PMCs) are considered excellent engineering materials. In structural applications, when a high strength-to-weight ratio is fundamental for the design, PMCs are successfully replacing many conventional materials. Since World War II textile materials have been used as ballistic armor. Materials manufactured with ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers are used in the production of armor materials, for personnel protection and armored vehicles. As these have been developed and commercialized more recently, there is not enough information about the action of the ionizing radiation in the ballistic performance of this armor material. In the present work the ballistic behavior of composite plates manufactured with ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers were evaluated after exposure to gamma radiation. The ballistic tests results were related to the macromolecular modifications induced by the environmental degradation through mechanical (hardness, impact and flexure) and physicochemical (infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and thermal gravimetric analysis) tests. Our results indicate that gamma irradiation induces modifications in the UHMWPE macromolecular chains, altering the mechanical properties of the composite and decreasing, for higher radiation doses, its ballistic performance. These results are presented and discussed.

Palavras-chave : Ballistic behavior; ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene; UHMWPE; gamma radiation; degradation.

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