Nanotechnology used for Smart Paint

February 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm Leave a comment

Hello MAT 120 Students!  My name is Rishi Sheth and I am new to this semester’s blogging project.  Our goal is to get more students interested in the field of IT Study and Technology.  There is a lot out there, and I am sure everyone can find something they’re interested in.  Before getting into my article I would like to share a bit about myself:  I am a senior here at ISU and I study Information Assurance.  I work at Enterprise System Support on campus doing IT support for those employed by the university (basically anyone not a teacher or student, that’s TechZone and Help Desk).  I hope through this semester what I share may conjure an interest in some of you to further seek out what is going on today in the world of technology.  With all of its vast avenues, I am sure it can lead to some great things for you folks.  So enjoy!

One of my favorite websites, Engadget, linked an article last week about “smart paint”.  This paint is infused with nanotechnology to detect structural damage, and is likely going revolutionize structural safety, if funded, tested, and created commercially.  Developed at the University of Strathcylde in Glasgow, a team of researchers learned using nanotechnology can create a sensory network in the paint that can detect minor structure faults and damage before becoming a severe problem.

This can present enormous safety foresight into incidents we hear about each year: bridges, dams, roads, and other majorly used large-scale structures, some of which are decades old and in serious need of upgrade and repair. The paint they use is a mix of highly aligned carbon nanotubes and fly ash – a recycled waste material. Together they create a stable, cement-like material that is great for harsh environments.  The paint simply needs to be sprayed onto the surface, making it easy to coat any size structure and less time consuming.

How this works is quite amazing! When the nanotubes “bend”, the conductivity changes indicating a structural problem is developing.  Dr. Mohamed Saafi of the University’s Department of Civil Engineering added this to the end of the press release:

“The smart paint represents a significant development and is one that has possibly been overlooked as a viable solution because research tends to focus on high-tech options that look to eliminate human control. Our research shows that by maintaining the human element the costs can be vastly reduced without an impact on effectiveness.”

Check out the Engadget article here.  There is a press release from the university at the bottom.  I encourage you all to check out the website daily for exciting news in many facets of technology. They have great editors, blogs, videos, and previews of upcoming gadgets.

Don’t forget to check out the quiz on Blackboard!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the semester.


Rishi Sheth

P.S:  I watched this video also after reading the article.  Engadget is witty with their use of videos and articles relating to advanced robot technology, including using the “robot apocalypse” tag in their search bar.

Here is a link to the article.  NOTE:  There will be no quiz questions related to this.  It’s just for fun!


Entry filed under: technology, Uncategorized.

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