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Silica Paint Absorbs Chemical Weapons

Silica Paint Absorbs Chemical Weapons

Special paint absorbs lethal chemical weapons and harmful gases…

British researchers have developed a special paint that can absorb chemical weapons and harmful gases, with the hopes that it will one day protect tanks and other military vehicles from chemical attacks.

The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, essentially the British version of DARPA, teamed up with AkzoNobel to develop the paint.

chemical absorbing paint for uk warrior fv510 tank

Chemical Absorbing Paint

Image Credit: SGT Paul L. Anstine II, U.S. Marine Corps, 2003.

The paint is made from a super absorbent silica gel, the same material inside the bead-packs found inside new shoeboxes and bags. The modified material can absorb harmful chemicals such as nerve gas, before the reach the vehicles interior.

Since the paint absorbs the chemical and must then be safely disposed of before another layer is applied, it’s sticky but easily removable.

AkzoNobel will produce the paint in standard military camouflage colors, and hopes it will be used on the UK’s Warrior Tanks, according to the Engineer.

The company is looking in to expanding the protective properties of the paint by making a version that not only absorbs noxious chemicals but neutralizes them. It also wants to produce a color-changing paint that would warn troops when they are under chemical attack, although exactly how they plan to do this not very clear since, as Technology Reviews quite rightly points out, it could ruin the whole camouflage concept.



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Source:

  1. Rebecca Boyle: Absorbent Paint Could Soak Up Chemical Weapons, Protecting Vehicle Occupants From Deadly Gas. Popular Science, 07/25/2012.
  2. David Zax: An Anti-Chemical Weapon Paint. Technology Review, 07/24/2012.
  3. Sam Shed: Anti-chemical weapon paint can absorb harmful chemicals. The Engineer, 07/23/2012.
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