Powerful explosives from fires or roadside bombs produce two near-simultaneous blasts: first, a high-pressure blast that can cause internal injuries, and then a thermal blast that produces temps above 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and can literally cook skin, according to Robert Lochhead, a professor of polymer science at the University of Southern Mississippi.
He labored with chemists to engineer a top-tech camouflage paint that is water resistant; simple to use and do away with; non-frustrating to the eyes, nostril, and mouth; and in truth reflects — as a substitute of absorbs, like most face paints — intense warmth.
The toughest challenge, Lochhead reported to the American Chemical Society during its 244th national meeting this week, was to accomplish all this without using mineral oil and spirits or fatty hydrocarbon substances typically used in makeup. (Hydrocarbon can actually burn when in contact with intense heat.)
So the team used silicones, which, because they absorb radiation at wavelengths outside this heat spectrum, are less flammable.
And for the reason that military mandates that each one camouflage makeup include at least 30 percent DEET, an insect repellent that is additionally flammable however may in reality beef up the camouflaging itself, they needed to encapsulate it in a hydrogel to prevent it from catching fire. We didn’t think we could do it, Lochhead stated, but it surely worked, and has to this point handed preliminary lab exams.
In fact, the heat repellent can actually protect skin for as many as 60 seconds — enough for a person to at least attempt to move away from a heat blast.
Lochhead says his team will also test the camouflage on other surfaces to see if it can protect materials other than human skin, including clothing and tents. They are also creating a drab version for firefighters who don’t necessarily want to camouflage up but could greatly get pleasure from pores and skin coverage.