Ballistic Tests of Alumina-UHMWPE Composites Submitted to Gamma Radiation

The energy absorption in ballistic tests of alumina-ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) composites with 60, 80 and 90 wt% alumina submitted to gamma radiation doses of 25, 50 and 75 kGy was investigated. The ballistic tests were carried out at subsonic speed using a compressed air system. The results showed that the composite with 80% alumina irradiated with 50 kGy yields the best ballistic results. Gel content, Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results showed that this composite is the one with the highest concentration of crosslinks and the lowest volume fraction of amorphous UHMWPE. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the same composite showed a high pullout, suggesting that gamma irradiation increases the adhesion between alumina and UHMWPE.