There can be no argument that the United States has its fair share of buildings, bridges, tunnels, roads and other types of infrastructure. These constructions all have to be inspected to insure they are properly functioning and safe for people to inhabit and use. Damage to these structures can prove to be expensive, time consuming, and require more manpower if these inspections are avoided. The inspections also cost money, time, and manpower. If the structure could be under constant inspection, damage can be avoided or even predicted, which would allow for lower costs on repairs. Here is where smart paint comes in. Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have developed a paint that detects microscopic faults before structural damage occurs. What is even better news is that this paint can perform this task at less than 1% the cost of the current widely used methods for inspection. The paint allows for continuous monitoring of these structures, without the cost of regular inspections and expensive equipment.
The paint consists of mainly fly ash (recycled waste product of coal) combined with carbon nanotubes and can be sprayed onto any surface. After the paint is applied it is embedded with electrodes, which are used to detect structural damage long before it becomes obvious and definitely before failure occurs. The electrodes are paired with wireless communications that can be programmed to send out warning when structural damage occurs. The paint also has a cement like property that becomes ideal for harsh conditions.
Smart paint has qualities that cannot be overlooked for use in other areas besides paint. The coating can be used to cover every inch of your car to monitor any damage occurring so unexpected failures do not occur. The same application can be applied to plumbing, appliances, and much more to help eliminate failures and improve damage control.
Learn more about Smart Paint.