Synergistic effect of β-Bi2O3 and graphene/MWCNT in silicone-based polymeric matrices on diagnostic X-ray attenuation

  • Sangeetha Jayakumar
  • T. Saravanan
  • M. Vadivel
  • John PhilipEmail author
Original Article


The prolonged exposure of high-energy ionizing radiations during treatment of cancer/tumour and radiological examinations is hazardous to occupational workers and patients. Lead-incorporated composite materials are traditionally used as radiopaque fabrics, but are heavy, bulky and hence often cause inconvenience to users. Therefore, superior radiopaque protective wears that are preferably lead-free, light weight and flexible are being explored. Towards this goal, we study here the synergistic effect of graphene nanoplatelets and multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) on the X-ray attenuation property of polymer nanocomposites containing β-Bi2O3 nanofillers. The effect of graphene and MWCNT at different concentrations on Bi2O3-based polymer nanocomposites is studied to attain optimal compositions with respect to its X-ray attenuation property and thermal stability. Surface topography and surface roughness of the nanocomposite blocks are studied using an atomic force microscope (AFM). The effect of the density of polymer on the curing, thermal stability and X-ray attenuation property is also studied by using silicone polymers of density 1.7 (G1) and 1.04 g/cm3 (G2). The X-ray attenuation property of nanocomposites with G1 polymer matrix is found to be better than that of G2. The G1-based nanocomposite containing β-Bi2O3 and graphene is found to be better than the one with G1 polymer containing β-Bi2O3 and MWCNT. Thermal stability of multifiller nanocomposites is found to be better than the one without nanofillers. AFM topography images show a variation in surface roughness of nanocomposites with different fillers, which contributes to the different micro- and nano-structural architectures due to polymer–nanofiller interaction, thereby, affecting the X-ray attenuation of the nanocomposites. Our study shows that the multifiller nanocomposite containing β-Bi2O3 and graphene nanoplatelets offer greater potential for the development of efficient radiopaque fabric materials.


X-ray attenuation Bi2O3 Graphene MWCNT Nanocomposites Nanofillers 



The authors would like to thank Dr. G. Amarendra and Dr. A. K. Bhaduri for their constant support and encouragement.

Supplementary material

13204_2019_972_MOESM1_ESM.docx (486 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 485 KB)


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SMART Materials Section, Corrosion Science and Technology Division, Metallurgy and Materials GroupIndira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, HBNIKalpakkamIndia
  2. 2.Inspection Technology Section, Non-Destructive Evaluation Division, Metallurgy and Materials GroupIndira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, HBNIKalpakkamIndia

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