Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has come up with a paint that can withstand not only erosion from sun shine but also one that reflects the sunrays away, making the metal roofs of houses and vehicles durable and long-lasting.
Unlike the traditional polymer paint that degrades due to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and also turns harmful to the environment, the new paint developed by Jason J. Benkoski and his team at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory initially for army vehicles has been found resistant to the fading that may be more useful for cities like Mumbai or those in the vicinity of sea shore.
The paint, a mixture of silica used in glass-making industry in combination of potassium silicate is water-resistant, less brittle and made in liquid form initially to facilitate easy painting with a brush or spray, but within few hours it turns as hard as rock. Unlike the currently available paints, this new paint will survive erosion for centuries without fading or cracking, claims Benkoski.
Completely inorganic paint unlike acrylic, polyurethane or epoxy paints, Benkoski’s paint is designed to expand and contract with metal surfaces to prevent cracking. Mixed with silicate pigments, it reflects heat and sunlight, keeping the surface as cool as the surface air. “When you raise the temperature of any material, any device, it almost always by definition ages much more quickly than it normally would,” Benkoski said.
Since the paint is able to keep an outdoor surface close to air temperature, it withstands corrosion and other environmental degradation, he explained citing its potential commercial applications. “You might want to paint something like this on your roof to keep heat out and lower your air conditioning bill in the summer,” he noted.
Upbeat on his new paint, Benkoski said it would be available in market in two years. Benkoski came out with the solution when he started working on a durable paint for military transport vehicles, which need to be pulled out of roads for repairs and re-paints costing the U.S. Navy billions of dollars each year.
With the goal of reducing these costs, Jason Benkoski and his colleagues in APL’s Milton Eisenhower Research Center worked on a self-healing paint with funding from the Office of Naval Research and developed in March this year a primer additive that mimics the self-healing ability of skin by forming a polymer scar across scratches, and also provides protection from rust.
Soon Benkoski’s team came out with an improvised version that can make outer surface of constructions and roof tops coller and keep the air-conditioning bill lower. Will Google or some environmentally-conscious firm jump at this idea for the future data centers as he’s looking for a partner company that could begin producing and commercializing the paint?