A research team in Kyoto University lead by Hidehito Nakamura, developed a new detectors for radiation. After Japan’s disaster of radiation that followed the big tsunami few month ago, the team worked in cooperation with Teijin Ltd. to reach the new gadget.
The idea of the new gadget lies in “Scintirex,” a plastic resin that emits a fluorescent glow when exposed to radiation. The resin acts as a sensor within the radiation detectors, allowing measurements of radiation.
The new material which is made from recycled plastic PET bottles will lower the cost of the detectors by 90% of the current detectors value.
Teijin’s PR department estimates that sensors for detection devices will become available to high priority government organizations and companies as early as next month at approximately 10,000 yen ($130) — one-tenth of the cost of currently available materials.
Derived mainly from PET bottle resin, “Scintirex” combines the strength, flexibility and low cost of the readily available PET resin with the radiation sensitivity of “Plastic Scintillators,” currently the dominant radiation sensing material exported to Japan by French firm Saint-Gobain.
Until now, the French company has dominated the radiation sensor market in Japan. However, Ishii said Nakamura’s invention is expected to compete.
Though Nakamura’s findings were published in the Europhysics Letter journal at the end of June, development has been picking up pace, given the strong demand.