This section provides an overview for tarpaulins as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 9 tarpaulin manufacturers and their company rankings.
Table of Contents
A tarpaulin is a sheet made of a special material that can shield against heat, electromagnetic waves, radiation, and other harmful effects on living organisms and electronic devices.
Tarpaulin shielding increases in thickness, thereby increasing the rate at which the adverse effects are shielded. Tarpaulins can be highly effective by using the appropriate tarpaulin for a particular application, as the material used has different characteristics, such as workability, etc.
In addition, films and sealed products are also being produced to match the shape of the object to be shielded.
Tarpaulins are used to block radiation from the outside. They are mainly used in the following two situations:
Radiation tarpaulin can be used to shield external radiation. Uses of radiation shielding sheets include protective clothing and protective equipment to protect workers from radiation exposure in environments where radiation is handled, such as the disposal of radioactive waste at nuclear facilities and reconstruction work in areas affected by nuclear power plant accidents.
Radiation medical facilities sometimes irradiate affected areas of tumors with electron, neutron, and proton beams, and they are also used to shield X-rays and gamma rays generated from these particle beams.
It is known that electromagnetic waves transmitted from broadcasting stations and smartphone base stations, as well as those generated by smartphones, tablets, and other devices, can adversely affect the human body and cause electronic equipment to malfunction. A tarpaulin is used to weaken the effects of such electromagnetic waves sufficiently.
A tarpaulin uses the properties of special materials that can shield radiation, so the characteristics of the tarpaulin vary greatly depending on the material used.
Tarpaulin shielding sheets utilize the properties of special materials that can shield radiation, so the characteristics vary greatly depending on the material used.
Tarpaulins made of materials such as lead or tungsten are highly effective in shielding, but are heavy and cannot be easily handled. It is necessary to consider the external appearance when bending or jointing it to suit the intended use.
Tarpaulins made of rubber or resin are designed to enhance the shielding effect by dispersing a material that shields or absorbs radiation within the sheet.
In electromagnetic shielding, radio waves are surrounded by conductive materials such as copper, which reflect and scatter them on their surfaces, preventing them from entering or leaking. Magnetic shielding surrounds the space to be shielded with iron-based materials that are easily magnetized, bypassing magnetism and preventing it from entering. The need for magnetic shielding is increasing for electronic devices such as MRIs, which are susceptible to the effects of magnetism.
Tarpaulin should be used according to the type and energy of the radiation.
Alpha rays are helium ions consisting of two protons and two neutrons. They are usually emitted from the nucleus of a radioactive isotope by a physical phenomenon called alpha decay. Because of their low energy (less than 10 MeV), they have low penetrating power and can be almost completely shielded with a sheet of paper, so a tarpaulin is not considered necessary.
Beta rays are emitted from the nucleus of a radioactive isotope by a physical phenomenon called beta decay. A tarpaulin is not necessary because it poses no health risk and does not cause malfunction of electronic equipment.
Gamma rays are emitted by photons from the nucleus of a radioactive isotope. They are highly penetrating and do not directly cause electrical failures in electronic equipment, but they can cause degradation of constituent materials and pose a significant health risk, so shielding with lead or tungsten of a thickness appropriate for the energy is required.
For low-energy gamma rays, tungsten alloys, which are mainly composed of tungsten and have a low environmental impact, are commonly used as tarpaulins, but their use has been limited due to their flexibility, workability, and high price because they are sintered at high temperatures.
A new tungsten sheet made of tungsten and resin has been developed as a tarpaulin material to overcome these problems. This tungsten sheet is manufactured by heating and kneading tungsten powder and an elastomer resin that can be recycled. This process produces a composite material of tungsten and resin, and then molding this composite material produces a tungsten sheet with high density and flexibility.
X-rays are the same photons as gamma rays, but they are produced artificially by a device called an X-ray tube. They are used primarily for X-ray examinations, but are generally much lower energy (a few keV) than gamma rays and pose no risk to health. They do not cause malfunction of electronic equipment and do not require a tarpaulin. White barium sulfate, which is taken during upper gastrointestinal tract X-rays at physical examinations, has an X-ray attenuating effect and is used to increase the resolution of radiographs.
Although extremely low dose rate (about 12 neutrons per square centimeter per hour), high-energy (>1 MeV) neutron beams exist in nature. They are not harmful to the human body, but can cause malfunctions in electronic equipment.
In general, lead blocks and concrete walls several meters thick are used to tarpaulin high-energy gamma and neutron rays, while hydrogen-rich blocks such as paraffin, polyethylene, and water are used to tarpaulin weak low-energy neutrons, and when sheets are used, they contain B-10, B-10 is a substance such as boric acid, and while most boron in nature is B-11, about 20% is B-10. Gadolinium and cadmium are toxic substances, so environmental considerations are necessary.
In order to treat tumors, neutron beams, high-energy electron beams, and proton beams are irradiated to the affected area. In such cases, gamma and neutron rays are also generated, so it is necessary to consider the use of shielding materials around the irradiation equipment.
Tarpaulin shielding sheets are known to be made of thin PET (polyethylene terephthalate) film with a conductive shielding layer, such as copper, formed by vacuum deposition on its surface. In addition to excellent electromagnetic shielding properties, this sheet is flexible, lightweight, and breathable, and its porous structure provides an anchoring effect.
Taking advantage of its high shielding performance and thin film characteristics, the sheet is utilized for electromagnetic shielding of various electronic devices, such as mobile devices that require space saving and cable sheathing materials that require processing on curved surfaces.
Tarpaulins are also available in the form of flexible paper and film made from stainless steel and copper materials using paper-making technology. The sheets can be easily cut into the desired shapes with scissors or cutters. During processing, sintered metallic fibers prevent fibers from falling out after processing, and the impact on the work environment is also taken into consideration.
This tarpaulin sheet has electromagnetic wave tarpaulin performance that takes advantage of the high conductivity characteristic of metal and the cushioning and flexibility characteristic of paper, as well as the anchoring effect and air permeability provided by the porous structure. Based on such performance, the sheet is utilized as noise suppression material for various electronic devices and electromagnetic wave shielding filter for differential pressure reduction.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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