You know those fancy equipment that have built-in Geiger counters, ticking away like mad whenever it approaches a radioactive source? Well, the future might be very different and a layperson might too, be able to detect levels of radiation around them if Japanese chemicals company Teijin has their way. They have already successfully developed a plastic which will glow in blue whenever it is exposed to radioactivity as seen on the right. Known as SCINTIREX, this polyester-based resin will function as a scintillator, making it a crucial component in radiation meters. To put it in easier terms of understanding, the amount of radiation can be calculated depending on the level of luminescence or how brightly it glows.
This piece of plastic was the result of a collaboration with Kyoto University and Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Science (NIRS), and they intend to push it to the manufacturers of radiation detectors who are looking for ways to cut costs without compromising on quality. The introduction of SCINTIREX could potentially reduce the production cost of scintillators by more than 90% according to Teijin – now that’s a definite win-win situation. [Press Release]