A new method for creating a highly reflective paintbrush, the first of its kind, could help you avoid damage to your walls, ceilings and other surfaces by avoiding a potentially damaging process known as epoxy pigments, which can lead to cracks and scratches.
In a demonstration Tuesday, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used a paintbrushing device to coat a wall with a liquid resin called metallic epoxy, which absorbs and reflects sunlight.
Using a brush, they then sprayed a layer of the material on a concrete floor, creating a pattern that resembled a painted wall.
The effect was subtle, but it gave the impression that the paintbrush had become an object of interest in the lab.
The results could help architects, landscapers and others design for a future where windows and doors are more visible, allowing people to see in and out without looking directly at the wall or ceiling.
“The use of metallic epoxies in a way that can be applied and removed in an environment that is not reflective would be a tremendous advancement in terms of architectural design,” said Chris Mankiewicz, a professor of materials science and engineering at the university who was not involved in the work.
“It’s really the kind of technology that could be a game-changer for a lot of industries,” he said.
“This could be an entirely new kind of material that you can use for structural integrity that could become ubiquitous in buildings.”
Mankiewicz said the results could also be applied to materials for building construction, such as metal, glass and ceramics, that are commonly used in concrete and other building materials.
“You can do that in a very short time and be able to produce materials that are resistant to the wear and tear of wear and use,” he added.
The researchers say they will study the material’s use in other materials in the future.
“We really want to know how it performs in different materials, and how we can optimize it to achieve different properties,” said Mankiewsit.
But there are some challenges in using metallic epoxide to paint walls, and whether it can be made to last for years of use.
“Metal is a very fragile material, but the process we’re using in this study does have a very high durability,” Mankiwiesit said.
“So, it’s not a great idea to use it in materials that you don’t want to break.”
Moldy concrete could be coated with the material in the near future.
Researchers at the California Institute of Materials and Engineering have developed an epoxy-based coating that is stronger than steel and will last for more than 25 years.
But they said they could not test the coating in concrete without using a paint brush to coat it.
“In our experience, it does not work well,” said Mark Fuchs, director of the CIME.
Mankiwiewsite said he is confident the technique could be used in other concrete-based materials, such like polyurethane.
“But there’s still a long way to go before we can really use it for materials that we can’t find in our chemistry lab,” he explained.
“What’s exciting is the way this works in nature.
The paintbrush is like a tool, and we’re building on the fact that nature has already done a lot with this.””
It could be quite exciting for a long time.”