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.
It seems so obvious in hindsight: reducing the drag on an airplane, boat, or car would increase fuel efficiency and provide cost savings for the operator of the vehicle. Until now, that solution was best managed by trying to implement a smooth top coat as any imperfections, dents, or layering in the paint would increase drag. Even a microscopic imperfection would, over time, result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in wasted fuel cost and increments of wasted time as a transport vehicle inefficiently arrived at its point of destination.
As you might imagine, much of the construction, design, and deployment of NASA’s space shuttle is unique and without precedent. Each implementation of technology in the space program is, quite often, the first time such an implementation has occurred. NASA’s cutting edge research and development also gives scientists a chance to try bold new things in bold new ways. One challenge NASA scientists must address for every object sent into space is how to handle the massive temperature fluctuations between outer-space and the earth’s atmosphere. Just as significant is the substantial heat and surface friction that spacecraft encounter as they re-enter the earth’s atmosphere and temperatures reach nearly 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Protecting astronauts, cargo, and the spacecraft themselves is a core objective within NASA’s ranks.