Plenary 3: Radiation chemistry

Monday November 07, 2022 from 13:30 to 15:00

Room: Lunar & Moon

P3.2 IMRP Odyssey: Reflecting on the past and anticipating the future of radiation processing of polymers

Olgun Guven, Turkey

Research Head
Department of Chemistry
Hacettepe University


Polyethylene discovered accidentally in 1933 is a wonderful material but with a disadvantage of softening at boiling water temperature. When Arthur Charlesby demonstrated in 1951 that melting temperature of PE could be increased up to about 240oC by pile irradiation this information produced a choc in academia and industry. Crosslinking of PE, a parafinic material in solid state looked like a miracle. This sparked large chemical companies investing in powerful radiation sources and numerous different materials were subjected to ionizing radiation. Many successful radiation applications were developed in the 1960s and 1970s leading to the birth of radiation processing industry which gave the way to the organization of the 1st Internationl Meeting on Radiation Processing (IMRP) in Puerto Rico in 1976.

IMRP meetings on radiation processing have been unique by providing a mixture of science, development, technology and business. Since its inception every IMRP meeting provided new scientific, technical and commercial data to inform and inspire the participants to design new research projects, new applications and business plans in the field of radiation processing. IMRPs typically cover wide range of ideas and applications in healthcare, food irradiation, advanced materials, evolving applications and advances in technology. Assumption of management of the IMRP by iiA after 2006 helped strengthening the ties between research and application and between science and business. Proceedings of the 19 previous IMRP meetings published as special issues of the journal Radiation Physics and Chemistry show the decades long developments achieved in the industrial application of radiation processing. In some cases one can observe a revival of interest in the processes developed earlier in the 1960s and 1970s considering the improvements in the materials or irradiation facilities. Some typical applications reflecting the changes and challenges in modification of properties of materials, exclusively of polymers will be discussed with the developments anticipated in the near future.

Presentations by Olgun Guven

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