Today, various microwave electronic devices are employed for the operation of telecommunication satellites, mobile communications, wireless communications, radars, radio navigation and various other signal processing and transmission systems, all resulting in an increasing of the microwave radiation background, which can seriously affect the adjacent systems (electromagnetic interference EMI) and the operators. As a result, it is necessary to develop materials that can offer effective electromagnetic shielding, which is essential for the protection of environment and mankind as well as of various electronic devices, whose operation should be continuous and undisturbed. The proposed project concerns innovative polymer nanocomposites offering electromagnetic shielding. The scope will be the design and development of the appropriate primary nanocomposite materials that can be employed by a participating enterprise for the development of innovative meshes, fibers and fabrics suitable for electromagnetic shielding in constructions and new electronic devices.
For the implementation of the proposed project, innovative approaches have been chosen, which can lead in the development of significant technology that can be directly exploited. In this context, particular emphasis will be given on the:
• Analytical study of the needs of the market, its requirements and its limits, so that the final results can be transformed into a profitable and sustainable product with significant added value.
• Investigation of the requirements for the use of nanofillers, such as carbon allotropes (graphene and carbon nanotubes), metal oxide nanostructures, metal nanoparticles and fibers etc. in electromagnetic shielding applications
• Development of these nanofillers with low-cost and environment-friendly techniques, allowing a controlled modification of their properties, easily applicable to a production line
• Investigation of the possibility of incorporating the nanofillers into polymer matrices so that the final nanocomposites, in the form of controlled-geometry fibers and grids, possess EM shielding properties at microwaves
• Understanding of the electromagnetic shielding mechanisms of the studied polymer nanocomposites and finding the nanofiller offering optimal electromagnetic shielding.
• Field evaluation of industrial nanocomposite prototypes, developed in the infrastructures of THRACE NG, employing a suitable pilot closet for outdoor use.
The deliverables will be significant scientific information as well as laboratory and industrial prototypes. Regarding the scientific information, which will be further disseminated to the scientific community and the society in general, this will concern innovative EM shielding nanocomposite materials and applications. Based on this scientific information, the development of novel commercial electromagnetic shielding products will be more easy and efficient. At the same time, innovative know-how will be obtained regarding the development of nanocomposite materials for protection of the microwave radiation, suitable for constructions, new electronic devices and personal use.
Regarding the laboratory and the industrial prototypes, these can become the forefront of the Greek industries dealing with polymeric materials, can lead to their increased competitiveness and their penetration into new markets as well as to further involvement of innovations in their production, which can increase their potential for further growth. It is worth noting that the electromagnetic shielding market is considered to be very profitable, since it exceeded $ 4.5 billion in 2014 and is projected to reach $ 6.6 billion in 2019 with an annual growth rate of 4.4%, this based not only on the need for new electronic products but also on the desire to improve life by protecting it from EM radiation.