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University of Florida creates plastic to protect space technology

This content 20 July 2022 – 21:42 . was published on

MIAMI, July 20 (EFE) — A team of students from Florida International University (FIU) is investigating the use of plastic materials capable of protecting space technology from radiation and replacing some of the metals currently in use, this Wednesday. told by this educational institution.

The plastic material offers “huge potential in space”, not only because of its low cost compared to the use of other materials, but also because of its “light weight”, something that could theoretically replace some metals in space technology and Allows to make it possible for ships to carry more fuel.

Student Kazu Orikasa heads the FIU team that researches and manufactures these innovative plastic materials, which are challenged to “withstand the extreme radiation present in space,” the university said in a statement.

With financial support from NASA, Oricasa and his team are working on creating a “plastic-based material with high thermal stability” capable of withstanding extreme space radiation.

The plan is to combine plastics with nanomaterials, extremely tiny materials, thinner than a fraction of a human hair.

“Nanomaterials like graphene have a much higher theoretical strength than any other material on Earth. Much higher than diamond,” says Oricasa of the FIU College of Engineering and Computing.

He specified that “these compounds can be used to protect electronic components from exposure to radiation”, because, if they are reached by it, the signal processing may be disrupted.

The compounds are being made in the plasma manufacturing laboratory of Professor Arvind Agarwal, chair of FIU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and tests are taking place at the NASA Radiation Test Facility.

“Creating a material that is resistant to radiation and at the same time is durable and lightweight. Ultimately, by combining these properties, we can increase the useful life of materials sent into space,” Agarwal said. EFE


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