PaintSquare.com


The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

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

Chemical & Petrochemical Plant Coating Systems

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


Minerals Research & Recovery

HIGH PERFORMANCE ABRASIVES


“Made in the USA!”

Why recycle waste from other countries? Go FASTER, CLEANER, at 1/3 THE COST with MR&R “All-American” Sharpshot®HP!!

WATCH THE VIDEO


Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Hydro Utility Penstock Overcoated in 1997. Was power washed and overcoated with major cost saving. No environmental impact with Termarust's low LC50 of 41,007 ppm.


Denso North America Inc.
Denso Tank Base
Protection System

An easily applied prevention system, utilizing Denso tapes and coatings around the tank base, that helps prevent corrosion from external elements.
Call 1-281-821-3355 or Visit www.densona.com


U.S. Zinc

Combat deterioration and corrosion with our zinc dust in your paints and coatings. U.S. Zinc – Helping the world work™


Abrasives Inc.
One Call Orders it All!

Life is good when it’s simple. We distribute Clemco blast equipment, nozzles & parts alongside our proven blast media. Make your call: Abrasives Inc. 800-584-7524


Dampney Co., Inc.
High Temperature Paint

• Prevent Rust / Corrosion
• High Build / Hot Apply
• Custom Colors / VOC-Compliant
• Offshore/Petro Chem/ Refining/Power Industries
• Over 90 Years of Experience

 
 
 
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