Nanocomposite Designed to Better Shield against Electromagnetic Radiation

How to better protect people and sensitive devices against harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation? The answer is seemingly simple: By using effective shielding materials. Researchers working in the Centre of Polymer Systems successfully develop a more efficient and flexible nanocomposite.

Members of the research team led by Assoc. Prof. Natalia Kazantseva in the Centre of Polymer Systems (CPS) of Tomas Bata University in Zlín, namely Raghvendra S. Yadav, Jarmila Vilčáková and Ivo Kuřitka, work on the development of a flexible nanocomposite which can be applied as an effective shielding material in various devices.

We can say that there are two types of shielding materials – either the electromagnetic wave is reflected, however, it continues to spread throughout the environment, or the material absorbs the wave, thus actually destroying the wave and converting it into residual heat. At the same time, it is desirable for many applications to have a material which is light, flexible and easy to process. 

“This requirement is easy to meet for the composites. Magnetic powder is added as a filler to the polymer matrix in order to produce an absorption capacity in composites,” says Assoc. Prof. Kuřitka. Radiation-absorbing technology is used for instance in computed tomography, magnetic resonance and other medical devices, where it protects both the device's sensitive electronics against external interference, and, at the same time, the operator who is outside the examination room. 

“Also in aviation and in astronautics, it is necessary to protect sensitive electronics against external electromagnetic pulses where any failure may have disastrous consequences,” adds Kuřitka.

“We are able to synthetize a suitable type of filler and determine its optimum concentration for a particular frequency. The research team led by Assoc. Prof. Kazantseva has already been granted three patents and two utility models, we have a verified technology and many functional samples,” concludes Assoc. Prof. Vilčáková.