EMPs are by far the probably and certain of the mega-disasters preppers are preparing for.
Whether it is a man-made nuclear or non-nuclear EMP strike, or a massively powerful solar event, any major EMP event has the potential to immediately transform our hi-tech, electronic world right into a The Walking Dead scene. Well, no zombies, but you get the image.
As such, it is so essential to know what materials can block EMP so you possibly can protect your worthwhile electronics that might help ensure your survival within the aftermath.
Unfortunately, there are only a few materials that may reliably stop an invisible, near-instantaneous wave of energy. So what materials can we depend on to dam EMP?
Several materials can reliably block EMP, including sheet metal, metal mesh, metal foam, EMF shielding fabric, concrete, and earth. However, these materials usually are not as effective.
It seems easy enough, but true EMP protection is different. You must know find out how to get essentially the most out of those materials and the way thick they should be if you desire to depend on any of them for that memorable day.
Read on and we’ll cover all of them intimately.
What exactly is EMP and what’s its effect on electronic devices?
EMP or electromagnetic pulse is a sudden burst of energy that may disrupt, disable and destroy electronic devices.
The effects of an EMP can range from temporarily disrupting cell phone services to permanently damaging electronic equipment and igniting power lines. Serious stuff!
While the heartbeat itself isn’t directly harmful to humans, the consequences of EMP might be catastrophic to society as an entire, sending an enormous chunk of civilization back to the pre-industrial era.
A single powerful nuclear detonation EMP or special EMP generator weapon can destroy entire power grids and communication systems, paralyzing entire cities across the region.
Ordinary electronics equivalent to computers, mobile phones, radios and televisions won’t survive an EMP, nor will anything currently connected to the facility grid once it shuts down.
For all these reasons, EMP protection is a crucial consideration for preppers and anyone who relies on electronic devices.
It is feasible to guard equipment from EMP (even when there isn’t any municipal electric service within the aftermath!) There are many materials that may enable you with this in other ways.
In most cases, this implies using the materials we’ll discuss as Faraday cages.
A Faraday cage is an enclosure used to dam the electromagnetic field from reaching the sensitive electronics stored inside.
A Faraday cage works by blocking or redirecting the large energy inherent in EMP before it reaches the sensitive electronics inside it.
This technology is utilized in every kind of high-tech and on a regular basis applications, including microwave ovens, medical equipment and dedicated EMP protection equipment.
But that is a very different topic for an additional article. For now, take a take a look at the materials which may be relevant when an EMP occurs.
Materials that may block EMP
1. Sheet metal
The commonest and maybe easiest material to make an EMP Faraday cage is sheet metal.
All you would like is heavy-duty aluminum foil or one other solid metal coating and also you’re good to go, right? Well, normally.
The trick to using sheet metal for EMP protection is that it must be thick enough to really block the electromagnetic pulse in addition to form a continuous shield across the item being protected, with none gaps.
For example, a layer of aluminum foil as thin as 0.007 inch will only reduce the EMP by about 50%.
To be effective, you would like a much thicker layer of aluminum foil or multiple layers placed together.
Considering the convenience with which most of those goods might be obtained, it’s of little importance, and aluminum foil or thin sheet metal is so low cost that it may possibly be made right into a well-insulated Faraday cage for little money.
Another problem with using sheet metal is that it’ll conduct electricity, so any electronics contained in the cage should be well insulated from the metal case itself.
This might be achieved by lining the inside the cage with a non-conductive material equivalent to wood or Styrofoam.
Sheet metal might be the preferred selection for EMP protection and if you have got the means to purchase it, it’s definitely a superb option to think about.
2. Metal mesh
Another popular selection for EMP protection is ultra-fine metal mesh. The key to using metal mesh is that it must have very small openings; very, very small! Otherwise, the electromagnetic pulse will simply go through the gaps.
Any mesh you intend to make use of should be tested before you select to make use of it for EMP protection.
Compared to plain sheet metal, described above, mesh is an affordable selection if chosen rigorously, but might be costlier and fewer reliable.
3. Metal foam
The revolutionary use of metal as EMP protection when greater structural strength is required without excessive weight gain is provided by metal foam.
Exactly because it sounds, metal foam is a metal that has a cellular structure throughout its volume, composed of huge, gas-filled pores.
Most of the time these materials appear to be a kitchen sponge, but they will likely be as hard because the metal they’re product of and far lighter than a solid block of the identical metal with the identical dimensions!
Assuming the froth’s pores are small and the thickness is acceptable, it may possibly provide EMP protection much like the identical metal in mesh or sheet form.
It’s an ideal solution to create larger cases which are strong enough to face up to damage and are stackable.
However, foamed metal materials suitable for EMP protection are inclined to be expensive and hard to return by, so their use is more likely to be limited to essentially the most affluent preppers or just for small, special applications.
4. EMF shielding fabric
An increasingly popular selection for luggage, purses, wallets and other small items designed to dam card skimmers and other nefarious technology, EMF shielding fabric may also be effective as a Faraday cage for EMP defense.
These fabrics are product of a mesh of finely woven metal fibers sewn into the material itself and function a versatile and reliable material that also stops electromagnetic fields.
It might be used to create various containers for smaller items, and even large covers for vehicles or generators.
Like some other material, it has benefits and downsides. On the opposite hand, it’s a comparatively lightweight and low-profile material that is straightforward to shape and lay.
The downside is you can take the manufacturer’s word for the density and quality of the protective components, and that these same components could also be damaged or degraded through use or handling without you knowing.
However, for specialist solutions, EMF shielding fabric could also be a superb solution.
No one is the primary selection for EMP protection, even with a backbone of steel reinforcing bars, solid concrete (or concrete filled cinder blocks are some obstacle to EMP when thick enough.
As a rule of thumb, the thicker the higher, and you will need many feet of concrete to significantly reduce a powerful EMP.
If you have already got a good underground bunker or live inside an enormous concrete structure, this will be enough to save lots of your electronics. However, if you have got a selection, depend on one in all the choices above.
Yes, even good old dirt can stop EMP – but you will have to be surrounded by many, many tons of this material! Just a few inches of topsoil won’t do the trick; you have got to be really buried for this one to work.
This sounds silly, but consider the practicalities: if you happen to’re on the opposite side of an enormous hill and the EMP source is out of sight of you, it may be enough to stop it.
Similarly, a shelter dug deep into the same hill, mountain, or underground could also be a sufficient barrier.
No, you will not find a way to bury your electronics within the garden or throw them in a bag of potting soil and call it a Faraday cage, but you possibly can still include earth protection in your overall EMP preparedness plan depending in your circumstances.