NJIT researchers have developed a paint for use in coatings and packaging that changes color when exposed to high temperatures, delivering a visual warning to people handling material or equipment with the potential to malfunction, explode, or cause burns when overheated.
The technology was commissioned and funded by the
"It would have been helpful to have had some sort of a calibrated temperature-triggered signal warning, 'Don't go near or pick up this shell!' "said Zafar Iqbal, a research professor in the
"We essentially modified commercial paints and introduced nanotechnology-based concepts to tailor the trigger temperatures," Iqbal explained, adding that his laboratory is starting to develop inks related to the paints that can be applied by inkjet printers.
His current research came out of earlier work at
Time-temperature coding is also important for munitions, which can be stored for many years and transported long distances. Until now, there has been no cost-effective means for identifying when munitions have experienced critical exposures, including over a period of several days. Thermal stabilizers incorporated in weapon containers can be depleted by extended exposure to high temperatures. Iqbal said the coding will be included in the thermal-indicating paints as an element of the final product for the
The technology has potentially wider applications as well, including as a temperature indicator for factory machines and household appliances and tools signaling they have become dangerously hot, or as a warning to firefighters of the intensity of a fire on the other side of a door coated with the thermal paint. Several large corporations expressed preliminary interest in it at a recent expo. The patent is jointly owned by NJIT and the
Iqbal, who is currently working on a book entitled "Nanomaterials Science and Technology" to be published by
He has collaborated with the
Iqbal is currently developing a related technology that would signal whether a product has been damaged by force, shock or exposure to dangerous chemicals, such as carcinogens, or to radiation.
"A smart coded coating is like a smart skin – it will provide a visual or sensing signal to tell you if there is a problem," he says, noting that sports helmets used in American football would be one potential application, helping coaches to determine whether a player has received a damaging blow to the head.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014smartpaint/07/prweb12000865.htm
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