Spray-on protective coating wins 'R&D 100' Award

Oct 13, 2011

R&D Magazine honored Office of Naval Research scientist Dr. Roshdy George S. Barsoum with a 2011 "R&D 100" award on Oct. 13 for the development of a revolutionary coating material that is blast-and fire-resistant.

The special high-tech surface technology, HybridSil Fire/Blast, acts like a force field that surrounds and protects any type of surface, making it blast-, ballistic- and fire-resistant.

"You can take an existing material and change it completely to make it more useful for the warfighter," said Barsoum, ONR's manager, Explosion-Resistant Coating, Ships and Engineering Systems Division. "Receiving this award is recognition that we are developing something that the warfighter can really use and exploit."

The coating is sprayed onto surfaces just like paint, with minimal surface preparation. It is applied in variable thicknesses—less for fireproofing and more for blast-resistance. But the tricky part is that the law of diminishing returns is at work: at some point, the more you apply, the less effective it becomes. Determining the appropriate amount for each surface and user need is complex, Barsoum said.

The Navy is particularly interested in the material's fire-resistant properties, since fires, along with floods, present the greatest threats on a ship or submarine. The Army and Air Force have also been investigating its use to protect buildings against vehicle-borne explosive devices.

The coating was developed with industry partner NanoSonic Inc, and the cost per gallon is equivalent to premium house paint. It can be used on new and old materials alike, making it easy to apply to existing ships or vehicles.

The research into this coating began after the bombing of USS Cole (DDG 67) on Oct. 12, 2000. The Navy wanted to find new ways of protecting ships, including coatings and polymers that could shield against explosions and fire. The research took off after 9/11, and the new defensive was applied to the rebuilt sections of the Pentagon.

According to R&D Magazine's website, the R&D 100 awards identify and celebrate the top high-technology products of the year, spanning industry, academia and government-sponsored research. Winning products include sophisticated testing equipment, innovative new materials, chemistry breakthroughs, biomedical products, consumer items and high-energy physics.

Explore further: Researchers increase the switching contrast of an all-optical flip-flop

Provided by Office of Naval Research

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Antibacterial stainless steel created

Jul 19, 2011

Materials scientists at the University of Birmingham have devised a way of making stainless steel surfaces resistant to bacteria in a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council which culminated ...

New Oxford spin-out to transform surfaces

Sep 07, 2006

The latest spin-out company from the University of Oxford, Oxford Advanced Surfaces Ltd, plans to apply surface science to develop a revolutionary coating for materials like plastics and Teflon.

New coating protects steel and superalloys

Mar 23, 2006

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a new ceramic-based coating for steel and superalloys that prevents corrosion, oxidation, carburization and sulfidation that commonly occur ...

Recommended for you

Intelligent materials that work in space

Oct 23, 2014

ARQUIMEA, a company that began in the Business Incubator in the Science Park of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, will be testing technology it has developed in the International Space Station. The technology ...

Using sound to picture the world in a new way

Oct 22, 2014

Have you ever thought about using acoustics to collect data? The EAR-IT project has explored this possibility with various pioneering applications that impact on our daily lives. Monitoring traffic density ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

CapitalismPrevails
1 / 5 (1) Oct 13, 2011
Could this be used on heat shields for future space capsules and shuttles???