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This result is in broad agreement with the observations of Van de Voorde (96) that as far as mechanical properties are concerned radiation tolerance increases at cryogenic temperatures provided there is no substantial warm-up. Polymers may behave differently electrically if both irradiated and maintained at liquid helium temperature, and it is not at all certain that the poor dielectric performance that Coltman, Jr. et al (103) found with G-I0 CR and G-ll CR, for example (TABLE IV) , would be improved as would the mechanical properties.

The G-I0 and G-ll CR epoxies which comprise a bisphenol system were considerably affected at 10 8 Gy. Resistivity fell by an order of magnitude and the breakdown strengths were more than halved. Mechanical tests were in the main those of flexure and compression. Epoxy strength results are given in Figures 29 and 30 respectively (103), and comparison shows that the response of a material to radiation differs with the type of mechanical test employed. This suggests that choice of material may depend on stress conditions to be experienced in service.

This suggests that choice of material may depend on stress conditions to be experienced in service. 4 x 10 7 Gy (Figure 29) the resin/glass fibre composites (G-I0 CR, G-IOCR-BF, G-I1CR) showed a marked reduction in strength but were still competitive with the strength of the particlefilled epoxies at that dose (Stycast 2850FT, Epon 828). At 10 8 Gy the flexure strength of the particle-filled epoxies was at the end of life whereas the glass-filled epoxies still had some usable strength. This is not the case with compression, where Epon 838 showed greatest strength of all the epoxy systems at 10 8 Gy.

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