Effect of MWCNT on Mechanical Properties of γ-Irradiated UHMWPE during Shelf Ageing Process
Crosslinking of UHMWPE by gamma irradiation has been the prime choice to improve the wear resistance of the polymer. However, it is always associated with few setbacks like degradation of material properties during the shelf ageing period. In the present work, nanocomposites were prepared using ball milling process and then compression moulding process where UHMWPE was reinforced by MWCNTs with 0.20 and 0.40 wt. %. The samples were gamma irradiated using 60Co at 25 and 50 kGy sterilizing doses in air without any post irradiative treatments and then shelf aged for 240 days. The mechanical properties of the composites were studied using small punch technique according to ASTM F2183 standards. Both toughness and hardness of the composites were found to be improved with an increase of irradiation dosage and MWCNT concentration. It is observed that the percentage reduction in Young’s modulus, yield stress and % strain at fracture of 0.4% composite at 50 kGy dose are 6.4%, 8.8% and 12.7%, respectively compared to that of virgin UHMWPE irradiated at same dosage. It is concluded that presence of MWCNTs in UHMWPE prevents the degradation of material properties during the shelf ageing period after irradiation.
Prof. Alan Kin Tak Lau, Prof. Tirumalai S. Srivatsan, Debes Bhattacharyya, Ming Qiu Zhang and Mabel M.P. Ho
P.S. Sreekanth et al., "Effect of MWCNT on Mechanical Properties of γ-Irradiated UHMWPE during Shelf Ageing Process", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 410, pp. 160-163, 2012