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Metal Detector Studies: Research Materials



James R. Baker-Jarvis, Raian K. Kaiser, Michael D. Janezic, Nicholas Paulter, Ken L. Stricklett


The purpose of the work described in this report is to develop and characterize materials that mimic the electromagnetic characteristics of the human body. The materials will be used to simulate the relevant electromagnetic properties of the human body from low frequencies to 10MHz and over a temperature range of 15oC to 40oC. These materials will aid in the evaluation and assessment of the interaction of medical devices and metal objects with metal detectors. The materials studied were: 1) a mmixture of potassium chloride in water, 2) am mixture of propylene carbonate, ethylene carbonate, and salts, 3) a semi-solid material consisting of silicone and carbon black, 4) a mmixture of glycine, potassium chloride, and water. The conductivity of all the materials were analyzed for time stability and temperature dependence using both a conductivity meter and a shielded open-ended coaxial line. It was found that the conductivity of the carbon-black-silicone composite exhibited a percolation threshold as a function of carbon-black concentration. It was found that to obtain time stability, the carbon black mmixture must be temperature annealed. The silicone material has the advantage of being more rugged than the glycine mmixture.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1514
Report Number


dielectric, frequency, permittivity, phantom, conductivity


Baker-Jarvis, J. , Kaiser, R. , Janezic, M. , Paulter, N. and Stricklett, K. (2002), Metal Detector Studies: Research Materials, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created July 31, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021