Thinking Tech

"Strain Paint" detects structural deformation

"Strain Paint" detects structural deformation

Posting in Architecture

Developed by Rice University scientists, a new type of nano-infused paint can indicate where a building, airplane, or bridge is strained, detecting damage before it can be plainly observed.

Developed by Rice University scientists, a new type of nano-infused paint can indicate where a building, airplane, or bridge is strained, detecting damage before it can be plainly observed. Named "strain paint," this paint is made with carbon nanotubes and glows under near-infrared light.

The strain can be read by a handheld infrared spectrometer in a way that displays a map of all strained areas, rather than simply that which exists in a specific location. Strain can be detected from a distance, meaning that an inspector could be standing on the ground and examining an airplane wing. According to the researchers, this method "provides a big advantage over conventional strain gauges, which must be physically connected to their read-out devices."

[via PopSci]

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Jenny Wilson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Jenny Wilson is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has written for Time.com and Swimming World Magazine and served stints at The American Prospect and The Atlantic Monthly magazines. She is currently pursuing a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure