PaintSquare.com


The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

Register Now for D+D 2014

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Scorpion Armor Inspires New Surfaces

Monday, February 6, 2012

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

The desert scorpion, champion survivor of a brutal corrosive environment, has a thing or two to teach scientists about protecting material surfaces.

 Per-Anders Olsson  / Creative Commons

 Per-Anders Olsson  / Creative Commons

Androctonus australis is giving up some protective secrets to materials researchers in China.

Researchers at China's Jilin University are studying the fat-tail scorpion—resident of the Arabian and Sahara deserts—to see how its armor holds up so well in a punishing environment that whips paint from steel and clogs and abrades machinery.

The secret: tiny grooves and granules in the scorpion exoskeleton that change airflow to deflect sand from the surface.

Military Equipment Potential

The grooves apparently work best when set at a 30-degree angle to the direction of airflow, although any grooves in the shell are better than none, the researchers report in “Erosion Resistance of Bionic Functional Surfaces Inspired from Desert Scorpions,” published in the science journal Languir.

The research holds important implications for protecting both internal components and external surfaces of engines, pipes, turbines, rotor blades and military equipment deployed in desert environments, the team reports. Such environmental assaults are a chief cause of equipment failure in such locations.

Pet Shop Pursuit

The team’s investigation began by scouring the pet shops of Changchun, where the university is located, for Androctonus australis, The Economic reports.

 Han Zhiwu et. al.

 Han Zhiwu et. al.

The grooved microtexture of a scorpion’s exoskeleton stands up to the corrosive desert environment.

Microscopic examination of the animals—live, but unconscious—under UV light gave the team a sharp look at their armor. (The exoskeletons are composed of a sugar-based polymer called chitin that fluoresces.) What they found were dome-shaped granules, 10 microns high and 25 to 80 microns across.

Testing

The scientists then used a 3D laser-scanning system to map the armor’s surface features and “plugged the result into a computer program that blasted the virtual armor with virtual sand grains at various angles of attack,” The Economist explained.

That work revealed that the armor’s granules were disturbing the air flow in ways that reduced erosion near the surface.

The research then moved to a wind tunnel, where grains of sand were fired at smooth and etched steel samples. After five minutes in the simulated sandstorm, the samples were weighed, to measure their erosion.

The microtexture most similar to the scorpion’s armor—with grooves 2mm apart, 5mm wide and 4mm high—fared the best.

   

Tagged categories: Corrosion; Corrosion protection; Erosion; Research; Steel

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Custom blast rooms
by SAFE Systems

Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the
system that best fits
your requirements.
Call 1-800-634-7278


JPCL Europe
Special EMEA edition!

Now, the publisher of JPCL offers essential news and knowledge for protective and marine coatings professionals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa: www.jpcleurope.com


U.S. Zinc

The proven corrosion protection properties of our zinc dust prolong the life of marine coatings. U.S. Zinc – Helping the world work™


Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Pipeline Utility Aerial crossings coated since 1992. Termarust's (HR CSA) was used to overcoat lead paint and preserve cables, pipes and support towers.


Denso North America Inc.
Denso Protal Liquid Coatings

A full range of fast cure, high build epoxies for a variety of above and below ground corrosion protection.
Call 1-281-821-3355 or Visit densona.com


PaintSquare
In the NEW issue:

Offshore wind turbine protection, avoiding adhesion failures, new inspector course on subsea insulation, and much more! jpcleurope.com


Harsco
BLACK BEAUTY® App

Download the free app for BLACK BEAUTY® Abrasives. Explore all the features from the palm of your hand.
Toll Free: 1-888-733-3646

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2014, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com