High-Tech Camouflage Paint to Protect Soldiers from Explosion Heat

August 23, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

US researchers have come out with a high-tech camouflage paint which not only helps soldiers hide, but also survive the heat of unexpected explosions.

Unlike the traditional camouflage paints which absorb heat and even catch fire, the new high-tech variety is less inflammable and reflects heat rather than absorbing it.

According to a report presented at the 244th national meeting of the American Chemical Society by Robert Lochhead who developed the new paint along with chemists, it is waterproof and is easy to apply and remove. Moreover, it will not irritate eyes, nose and mouth.

According Lochhead, who is a Polymer Chemistry professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, the unexpected blasts affect military personnel in two ways; one – the pressure of the blast causes internal injuries, and two – the large amount of heat produced by the blast will burn their skin and in many cases their internal organs.

The high-tech camouflage paint developed by Lochhead and his team will keep the skin cool without absorbing heat and has no mineral or hydrocarbon ingredients usually used for making paints.

Instead, the team has used Silicon as the major ingredient, since it absorbs only radiation outside the heat spectrum and is less inflammable compared to hydrocarbons.

However the military mandate to have at least 30 percent of DEET in camouflage paints as an insect repellent has put a big challenge in front of the team since DEET is highly inflammable.

At last they circumvent the bottleneck by covering the chemical in hydrogel, making it less inflammable. As per the present status, the paint can protect skin from heat up to 60 seconds depending on the amount of heat.

The new paint has so far passed preliminary lab tests. The team is also planning to bring out colorless variant which can be used by firefighters.

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