Is there a paint color called "crack in the bridge?"
There could be one day, if Scottish researchers continue to make progress on a low-cost smart paint that could detect microscopic faults in structures such as bridges, wind turbines, and mines.
The paint, under development at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, is made of highly aligned carbon nanotubes, which can carry an electrical current, and a recycled waste product known as fly ash that's usually produced during coal combustion.
When mixed, the paint takes on a cement-like property that makes it hardy and particularly useful in areas where the weather can make regular safety monitoring difficult.
"There are no limitations as to where it could be used, and the low-cost nature gives it a significant advantage over the current options available in the industry," Mohamed Saafi, chair of the university's department of civil engineering, said in a statement. "The process of producing and applying the paint also gives it an advantage, as no expertise is required and monitoring itself is straightforward." … Read more