This paper presents interdisciplinary (nuclear-mechanical-materials-chemical) engineering technology and results pertaining to use of ionization radiation for tailoring “green”, renewable corn-soy based amorphous and crystalline form polymers for use as low-to-high temperature adhesives. Both amorphous and crystalline form polymer forms of such the Polylactic-Acid (PLA) polymer were studied with and without photon irradiation, alongside with and without cross-linking agent. In order to study and enhance the high-temperature application of PLA as a novel, multi-purpose adhesive, small concentrations of the crosslinking agent triallyl isocyanurate (TAIC) were included into molten amorphous and semi-crystalline PLA cast as glue sticks, followed with Co-60 gamma-irradiation. Bond strength variations were studied in tensile mode at room temperature using the resulting adhesive in between two steel dowels (head-to-head bonded) as well as via shear strength testing at elevated temperatures (50–120°C) under a set pre-load of 222 N. It was found that gamma irradiated samples with TAIC exhibited noticeably improved bonding strength, and importantly, such strength can potentially prevail towards 100°C. These are exciting results which offer potential for application for building construction and safety enhancements especially under fires and similar accidents. Samples without TAIC exhibited significant loss of strength past 90°C. The full paper will discuss details of apparatus, modeling and simulation of irradiation dose delivery, testing protocols results, and future enhancements via hybrid neutron-photon-electron irradiation for utility in variety of industrial applications.

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