MIHAELA RALUCA CONDRUZ, CRISTIAN PUSCASU, LUCIA RALUCA VOICU, IONUT SEBASTIAN VINTILA, ALEXANDRU PARASCHIV, DRAGOS ALEXANDRU MIREA FIBER REINFORCED COMPOSITE MATERIALS FOR PROTON RADIATION SHIELDING Nowadays scientific researchers aim to develop new material designs for space structures that can withstand the harsh conditions in space environment. Another goal is to reduce the weight and the launching cost of the structures. A solution to those needs is to integrate fiber reinforced polymers in spacecraft structural components. Radiation shielding is a requirement that has to be met by the materials used to manufacture space structures. Protons are one of the many charged particles that can influence the integrity of materials in space. In the present study three material designs were developed and their ability to shield proton beam irradiation was evaluated. The material designs consist in advanced composite materials (carbon fiber reinforced polymers - CFRPs) that integrate the concept Low Z - High Z - Low Z (tantalum foil) and metallic coatings. Simulations were performed to determine the penetration depth of an ion beam (energy 15 MeV) in the proposed material designs. It was observed that the beam’s penetration depth through a CFRP sample with Ta foil (sample’s thickness 2.08 mm) was about 75% of the sample’s thickness, 58% for CFRP sample with Babbitt coating (sample’s thickness 2.28 mm), 56% for the CFRP sample with Zn coating (sample’s thickness 2.28 mm) and 55% for the CFRP sample with Zn/Monel coating (sample’s thickness 2.28 mm). It seems that the proposed material designs provide ion beam protection similar with an aluminum sample of 2 mm thickness. The experimental procedure confirmed the results obtained from the simulations, all the material designs providing protection in case of proton beam irradiation with an energy of 15.8 MeV.