Raddison and Radsilk
Radsilk is a synthetic polymer used in the construction of space suits, anti-radiation gear and reactor shielding produced using a mineral called Raddison found in some types of asteroid. It is light weight, flexible and a 1mm thickness is capable of shielding as much radiation as three metres of water. Production of the fabric involves combining powdered Raddison with nylon and extruding a fibre which can then be woven into cloth. The resulting cloth has a dark grey-blue colour and a rough texture similar to fine sandpaper. Attempts at producing softer fabric have so far failed, and as such it is typically laminated with other fabrics before being made into clothing. Raddison was first found in the Alpha Centauri system, and has since been found in roughly two thirds of all star systems with habitable planets. The very first uses cast the mineral in resin plates and managed to significantly cut down the required mass of shielding for nuclear reactors. In 2115, a group of university students at the Chiron Technological Foundation discovered that the radiation blocking properties of the material were retained when it was mixed with plastic. They used this technique to produce the first radiation blocking fabric, which they dubbed Radsilk. Initially, the price of the material was far too high to warrant using it in anything but reactor shielding. This was not helped by the difficulty of finding the mineral itself. It was vanishingly rare in any given asteroid but in 2138 three separate research teams independently discovered a mechanism of identifying Raddison deposits within asteroids at a distance. Within a decade the price dropped so substantially that Radsilk displaced virtually all competing products. Virtually all spacesuits designed for use outside of a spacecraft have at least two layers of woven radsilk between the outer covering and the pressure suit to limit the wearer’s exposure to harmful radiation. Much thicker fabric is used in the anti-radiation suits used by reactor technicians in suits that resemble 21st century heat suits used in foundries. Radsilk is incorporated into the composite hulls of most starships, and the shielding for reactors themselves are usually made of almost pure radsilk epoxy composites. Alongside the development of the plasma drive, Radsilk has materially changed the way that humanity looks at the stars and opened countless new opportunities for mankind.
Found in small quantities in asteroids in most star systems
Navy blue powder, blue-grey fabric with a rough matt texture
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