Li Liu, State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
The aim of this study was to explore the development of lead-free X-ray shielding rubber nanocomposites with improved mechanical properties. In specific, gadolinium oxide (Gd2O3) nano-flakes (with thickness of ∼20 nm and sizes being tens of nanometers) were first prepared via the co-precipitation spray drying method; subsequently, the prepared Gd2O3 nano-flakes were uniformly dispersed into nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) followed by vulcanization for the fabrication of flexible and lightweight X-ray shielding nanocomposites. Compared with the Gd2O3/NBR conventional composites made from a Gd2O3 powder with particle sizes in the range of 5–20 µm, the fabricated Gd2O3/NBR nanocomposites exhibited significantly higher tensile strength, Shore A hardness, and X-ray shielding properties while the rubbery characteristic (i.e. elasticity) was retained.