Structural Concrete Mix for Electromagnetic Pulse Shielding

C.Y. Tuan and L. Nguyen
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

Keywords: concrete, construction, shielding, electromagetic pulse (EMP), conductive concrete

The technology resolves the critical national security needs for shielding of electromagnetic pulses generated by a high-altitude nuclear explosion (HEMP) and from sudden magnetic field fluctuations. Conductive concrete is a building material that can offer built-in shielding and also provide electromagnetic field immunity and radiated emission security. A conductive concrete enclosure can provide effective global shielding at the frequencies of interest (10 kHz to 18 GHz). Current technology for EMP shielding is by sheltering EM-sensitive equipment in a Faraday cage or a shelter constructed with metal panels that meets the MIL-STD-188-125-1 standard for shielding effectiveness (SE). The test results of a 11 ft by 11 ft by 11 ft conductive concrete shelter have shown 100~120 dB of attenuation, which offers the same level of HEMP protection. Test results also show that even a 3-in. thick wall panel can provide more than 60 dB of attenuation, thus offering the potential to achieve more than four orders of magnitude of EMP protection for the entire building and facilities at only marginal construction costs. As an effective shielding material, conductive concrete can also provide the capability to secure EM signatures and waveforms from within and without C4ISR facilities.