Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST) and the Institute of Kansas (Kansas State University) showed a new aerosol composition on the basis of consistency of carbon nanotubes and a special ceramic coating that allows excellent absorb light lasers, including combat. These coatings, which are capable of sucking a huge part of the energy of the laser beam without being destroyed with all this and not allowing them to break down the protected subject matter are not only effective means of protection from combat lasers, they are also used to protect the sensors that measure the energy of the laser radiation used for military remote detonation of unexploded ordnance and explosive devices.
Basis of a new aerosol material is a material developed by researchers at NIST sensors to protect the optical energy that is currently used in various industry sectors. «We just came out excellent new protective material» — Says John Lehman (John Lehman), a researcher at the Institute of NIST, — «It combines all the positive optical, thermal and electronic properties of carbon nanotubes with the reliability and durability of high temperature ceramics.»
New aerosol material consists of multi-walled carbon nanotubes, multi-walled nanotubes of different diameter, located inside each other, and clay material consisting of silicon, boron, carbon and nitrogen. The presence of boron in ceramic composition allows you to raise the temperature at which the material begins to melt and break.
For new members of scientists nanotubes mixed with toluene, watery organic material, and then to the mixture drop by drop at constant mixing added polymer material is heated to a temperature of 1100 degrees Celsius, which contains boron and other substances necessary for high temperature ceramics. Acquired composition is heated to the highest temperature, the solvent evaporates, and gained ground in the precipitate fine powder, which was again mixed with a solvent-based toluene.
Researchers using ordinary spray gun, caused a thin layer of material on the copper surface after drying and focused on the material surface longwave infrared laser beam, laser, which is used for cutting metal and other hard materials. Analysis of the data collected showed that the coating which is absorbed 97.5 percent of the energy of the laser beam and survived without destroying the energy level of 15 kW per square centimeter of surface. Such characteristics are exactly twice the characteristics exhibited by other materials on the basis of net nanotubes and carbon-containing coatings developed for protection from laser light.
The nanotubes and other carbon materials, such as graphene, uniformly absorb light and transfer heat to the surrounding area, reducing the temperature at the contact point with the laser beam. High-temperature clay compound resistant to oxidation protective coating provides higher mechanical strength of and resistance to destruction of the highest temperature. It should be seen that the new material is characterized by superior adhesion, which is capable of applying it on surfaces of different materials. Besides the production process of the protective material is straightforward and it without much trouble, you can make in large quantities.
Using an electric microscope scientists studied more carefully the point of contact of the protective coating to the laser beam. These studies have shown a complete lack of the main types of damage to materials, such as burning and deformation. Barely a few malehankih places where the concentration of nanotubes was small, clay material is melted and turned into a measured silica, quartz glass, which, nevertheless, continued to make a protective role.