Wide usage of drones and unmanned vehicles requires their protection from electromagnetic (EM) pulse attacks. The calculations of shielding efficiency of EM screens from various materials show that in the frequency range of electromagnetic radiation from 60 Hz to 1 kHz, the screen thickness should be more than 1 mm.
At present the vacuum deposition process is used for metallizing of polymers. The main drawbacks of vacuum technologies are the limited size of polymer components and the small thickness of the coating (5-20 μm), which provides effective shielding only for frequencies above 1 MHz.
To form thicker metal coatings the research institute from Belarus offers thermal spraying technique - hypersonic metallizing. In hypersonic metallizing the feedstock (metal wires) is melted by the electric arc and the molten metal is sprayed by a jet of propane-air mixture combustion products. The technique requires abrasive jet pretreatment of the surface, applying the underlayer (if necessary) and then spraying the functional coating of a required thickness.
Characteristics of hypersonic metallizing:
* dynamic pressure: 23.5e4 kg/(m*s2)
* particle velocity: up to 500 m/s
* particle size: 5-25 μm
* feedstock: steel, copper, aluminium, zinc, etc. or any combination of two.
Parameters of coatings on polymer substrate:
* thickness: from 100 μm up to 3 mm
* adhesion tensile strength: more than 2.5 MPa
* high corrosion resistance
* density of aluminium, zinc, copper: almost 100%.
Hypersonic metallizing can be used to form protective coatings on polymer bodies of unmanned vehicles against electromagnetic pulses or to provide electromagnetic interference shielding for electronic equipment.
The institute seeks cooperation with industrial partner for commercial agreement with technical assistance. Desired is a contract for an adaptation of hypersonic metallizing to the specific manufacturing process of the buyer.