In many high energy physic experiments, as well as in nuclear or space applications, the utilisation of plastics in the presence of ionising radiation environments is requested, leading to the necessity of better understand the interaction between polymers and radiation. In the case of CERN LHC experiments, for example, the integrated dose of ionising radiation may reach the level of 3MGy. Most known polymers, especially those polymerizing at room temperature, can be strongly degraded by such a level of radiation, leading to a high failure risk of the same experiments.
The Materials Science and Technology group of the University of Perugia is involved from many years in a collaboration with CERN, in the aim of studying the effects of radiation on structural polymeric materials. The plot one of these experiments, ATLAS, is represented in the next page.