PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our free Bridge Coating Systems eResource Book

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.
Portable Blast &
Recovery Equipment

Trailer or skid mounted blast and recovery equipment. Systems designed for maximum versatility, environmental compliance
and overall cost savings.
Call 1-800-634-7278


U.S. Zinc
Historic Reliability. Innovative Performance.

As an industry leader with an established global footprint, we provide the products that prolong the life your paints and 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.


Midsun Specialty Products
Self-Healing Field Repairs

Use Stopaq corrosion prevention coatings on pipelines, field joints, tank chimes, structural steel and more. Learn more at www.midsunsp.com/stopaq


Dampney Co., Inc.
Metal Patching Compound

One Part / Ready to Use / High Temperature. Fill surface imperfections, voids, rough welds prior to painting and powder coating.


LPI Incorporated
LPI, Inc.

Manufactures air-powered man lifts for use in prep, paint and blast booths. Standard and custom designs.
Phone 800-657-6956 or www.lpi-inc.com


DeFelsko Corporation
PosiTector 200 for concrete

Rugged, simple and affordable coating thickness gage for concrete measures protective coatings including polyurea.


Fischer Technology Inc.
MP0R with rotating display screen

View your coating thickness readings from any angle with rotating display screen. New graphic display with easy menu navigation. Click for Video
Call 800-243-8417


Abrasives Inc.
See the difference immediately Black Magic®

Quality blast abrasive goes farther. Use Black Magic® The Tough Stuff coal slag. Cleaner, consistent, less dust. Order yours today!
Abrasives Inc. 800-584-7524

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

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

 
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 2000-2015, 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