Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Benjamin Boesl

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Leonel Lagos

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Cesar Levy

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

James Nicholson

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


mechanical, polyurethane, foam, intumescent, adhesion, decommissioning, nuclear, SEM, tensile, compression, ASTM

Date of Defense



The Department of Energy is investigating fixative technologies that encapsulate and/or immobilize residual contamination in voids during deactivation and decommissioning (D&D). These technologies must have adequate mechanical and adhesion properties to withstand seismic activity that may occur. One solution is the implementation of polyurethane foams used as permanent foaming fixatives (PFF), specifically intumescent foams that contain expandable graphite, making them fire resistant when exposed to extreme heat conditions.

Tensile, compression, seismic, and tensile adhesion testing was done on six commercial-off-the-self polyurethane foams to determine if the expandable graphite and other filler intumescent technologies improve its mechanical limits. It was found the expandable graphite loading allowed intumescent foam to have the highest tensile and compressive stresses of the six tested foams, with better adhesion on rougher surfaces than smoother surfaces. Shear adhesion testing showed a near-fit linear relationship with surface area and no dependency on volume. Seismic stressor testing showed adhesion decreased by 19.8% compared to the control.





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