The spray that could save us from ‘doomsday’ attacks: Researchers reveal conductive concrete that can protect buildings from electromagnetic blasts
The spray that could save us from ‘doomsday’ attacks: Researchers reveal conductive concrete that can protect buildings from electromagnetic blasts>
Conductive concrete both absorbs and reflects electromagnetic waves
Researchers replaced some standard concrete materials with magnetite
The mineral has magnetic properties and can absorb microwaves
Contains carbon and metal as well, enhancing absorption and reflection
New product could be applied to existing buildings with spray-on method
By Cheyenne Macdonald For Dailymail.com
Published: 12:13 EST, 17 November 2016 | Updated: 13:26 EST, 17 November 2016
In recent years, security experts have increasingly warned of science fiction-style electromagnetic pulse attacks – powerful weapons could wipe out power grids and put millions of lives at risk.
Now, researchers have developed a type of concrete that could act as a shield against these ‘doomsday’ attacks.
The conductive concrete both absorbs and reflects electromagnetic waves to protect the electronics inside, and the creators say it could be used in new structures or applied through a spray-on method to retrofit existing buildings.
Created by a team of engineers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the shielding technology was first developed to melt snow and ice from roadways.
But, this revealed another important use – blocking electromagnetic energy.
While electromagnetic energy is found all around us, a burst of these waves from a high-altitude nuclear explosion or an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon could cause electric current and voltage surges, wiping out electronic systems on a massive scale.
‘EMP is very lethal to electronic equipment,’ said Christopher Tuan, professor of civil engineering.
‘We found a key ingredient that dissipates wave energy.
‘This technology offers a lot of advantages so the construction industry is very interested.’
The researchers created a concrete that conducts electricity, replacing some of the standard concrete materials with magnetite.