Rust can protect the spacecraft from radiation

Regular readers of our site surely know that outer space beyond the earth’s atmosphere is literally permeated with radiation. But for some, it may be the big opening of the fact that the threat to human health radiation can also severely damage electronic equipment for space satellites and ships. That is why engineers are constantly trying to come up with as easy, but at the same time effective anti-radiation material, which can protect on-Board computers and other parts of space devices. At the moment, for these purposes, an aluminum alloy, but recently, scientists from the U.S. state of North Carolina found that protecting electronic equipment can even rust.

Of this sudden revelation was written in the scientific journal Radiation Physics and Chemistry. Scientists have found that exposure to cosmic radiation quite successfully you can block by means of a material consisting of acrylic and oxides of various metals. Simply put, the main part of the new anti-radiation layer is rust, which is formed by the interaction of the metals with oxygen in a wet environment. Only in this case we are not talking about the gland, which often rust, and other less heavy weight substances.

A new coating for space ships

In laboratory tests, scientists have found that created from in fact rusty material shield reduces radiation cosmic radiation is about 300 times. Through the use of new material, the weight of the spacecraft can be reduced by a whole 30%, while maintaining the protection from dangerous radiation. Or, you can make the devices a little heavier than usual and 30% increase in protection from radiation.

According to scientists, the most suitable for the production of new material substances are the oxides of gadolinium, tungsten, and erbium. However, given the lower weight and cost, the preferred substance is gadolinium oxide. In General, instead of oxides, the scientists could use the pure metals, the more that they provide even greater protection. Only now they have a higher cost, toxicity and can interfere with electronic devices, so the choice fell on the oxides.

At the moment, scientists are looking for partners who will help them create new material for plating of the spacecraft on a commercial level. Quite possibly, in the near future will depart to space the devices with a completely new surface, which will significantly increase their service life and ensure smooth operation. It is important to note that some spacecraft have been destroyed because of exposure to cosmic radiation and has not completed important to the scientific community a space mission.