According to experiments conducted by the scientists, samples coated with a 1-dollar Chinese adhesive defeated a billion-dollar US laser weapon.
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Scientists in China who have been experimenting with materials to protect drones and missiles from laser attacks say they have discovered a surprising potential solution – adhesive.
An experiment showed that a common low-cost resin showed promise in protecting such weapons from being damaged by laser weapons, according to the scientists.
Samples coated with the material remained intact after being blasted by a weapons-grade laser beam for 15 seconds with a power density of 500 watts per sq cm – far more intense that what is required to destroy an unprotected ballistic missile.
To put that into perspective, a three megawatt laser weapon could theoretically intercept an incoming missile with power density on the target of just 300 watts per sq cm, according to scientists.
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The newest, most powerful laser currently available to the US military generates a 300-kilowatt beam. Megawatt-power laser systems do not yet exist but are under development.
In their experiment, the researchers applied 2.5mm (0.1 inch) of coating that was mostly made of boron phenolic resin (BPR), a composite material widely used in hot and high-stress environments.
China is the world’s largest manufacturer of BPR, where one factory can produce hundreds of thousands of tonnes of BPR annuall
BPR is also inexpensive. In recent years, the average price of the resin has dropped to as low as 7 yuan (US$1) per kg (2.2 pounds), according to industrial data in China.
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