RADIATION EFFECTS IN ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
Radiolytic Decomposition of Polyphenyls at 350
* A mixture of the three terphenyls plus a small amount of diphenyl.
An effect similar to that described above occurs in water molecules that are decomposed by
radiation into hydrogen and oxygen in a reactor. Control of oxygen produced by this process is
an important part of reactor chemistry.
The important information in this chapter is summarized below.
Radiation Effects in Organic Compounds Summary
Gamma and beta radiation have little effect on metals, but break the chemical bonds and
prevent bond recombination of organic compounds and cause permanent damage.
Radiation causes changes in organic materials.
Nylon has a degradation of its toughness at relatively low doses and little loss of
High-density (linear) polyethylene marlex 50 loses both strength and ductility at
relatively low doses.
Typically rubber increases in hardness when irradiated. Butyl or Thiokol rubber soften
or become liquid with high radiation doses.
The chemical bond with the least amount of resistance to radiation is the covalent bond.
Polymerization is the recombining of broken hydrocarbon chains into longer ones.