For those that don’t work in the paint industry, they may think that paint is paint and there’s nothing much exciting going on there. In fact, quite the opposite is true. We’ve written about color changing paint and advances in graffiti-resistant coatings. Developing paint is essentially a chemistry project, but the advancement we’re going to discuss today came not from the mind of scientists, but a group of design creatives that engineered an exciting new paint that could change commercial and industrial painting – conductive paint.
Bare Conductive paint emerged from a student project at London’s Royal College of Art. The team of designers, engineers and artists developed the paint that conducts electricity that is spawning a great deal of interest among life hackers, engineers and fans of future tech. But it’s also an exciting development for commercial painters with an eye on offering the latest technology to their clients – both residential and industrial.
Currently the paint comes in small pens that allow the paint to be applied in thin streams that can function in place of solder on a circuit board. What’s more interesting and applicable to your industry is the small pot of paint that can be brushed onto walls and other surfaces. With an application like this, you can offer your clients painted-on light switches where they want without tearing into walls (see the video for a demonstration).
Not only can the paint be used to create wireless light switches, but because it can act as a proximity sensor, it can function as a dimmer that you only have to wave your hand at. This functionality also extends to motion sensor capabilities, so you can paint on elements that will work with the client’s security system. These are upsells of interest to both your residential and business clients.
As it stands, the paint only comes in black, but once applied to the wall, floor or ceiling surfaces, it can be painted over in the color of your choice without diminishing the efficacy of the conductivity. Beyond light switches and security applications, in offices and homes it can be used to devise wireless doorbells.
And the possibilities for lighting are practically endless. Imagine if you could offer to set up ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, ceiling fans and ambient lighting with this advanced paint technology that doesn’t require wiring and can be easily applied in just minutes and save them hundreds or even thousands of dollars of intrusive wiring work that will necessitate patching and painting when done.
Of course, you’ll need someone on staff that can handle the relatively simple circuit board that triggers the chime, alarm, light, fan or dimmer switch. You can also hire in an electrician or facilities engineer to take care of the circuitry end of the work if you just want to stick to applying this new high-tech paint that has great potential to expand your offerings.
And here’s another non-electrical application of this paint to consider for industrial work. We wrote last year about anti-fouling paint, a necessity for marine coating work. A study out of the University of Rhode Island showed that coatings made with conductive polymers operate more effectively than many other anti-fouling applications – turns out the conductive properties repel marine micro-organisms.
The potential for this new coating is just beginning to be explored. Are you tech savvy and always on the look out for new offerings to upsell? Conductive paint may be just the thing to electrify your clients…