North Carolina State University researchers have developed a new method for shielding electronics in military and space exploration expertise from ionizing radiation.
The new strategy is more cost-effective than present techniques, and the key ingredient is rust.
Ionizing radiation can cause vital problems for electronic devices. To guard against this, units that could be exposed to radiation—reminiscent of devices utilized in spacecraft—incorporate radiation shielding.
Weight is a crucial factor in designing aerospace technologies, and the shielding most commonly present in aerospace devices consists of placing an aluminum box around any sensitive technologies.
This has been viewed as offering the best tradeoff between a shield’s weight and the safety it provides.
The new method relies on mixing oxidized metal powder—rust—into a polymer, and then incorporating it into a typical conformal coating on the related electronics.
“At the same time, the coating is less cumbersome than a box,” Hayes says.
The researchers are continuing to test and quality-tune their shielding method for use in various applications.
The paper titled, “Ionizing Radiation Shielding Properties of Metal Oxide Impregnated Conformal Coatings,” is featured in the journal Radiation Physics and Chemistry.