Nanotech clay armour creates fire resistant hard wearing latex emulsion paints

Jul 26, 2007
Diagram of clay armour
Diagram of clay armour

Researchers at the University of Warwick's Department of Chemistry have found a way of replacing the soap used to stabilize latex emulsion paints with nanotech sized clay armour that can create a much more hard wearing and fire resistant paint.

To date latex emulsion paints have relied on the addition of soaps or similar materials to overcome the polymer parts of the paint's aversion to water, stabilize the paint, and make it work.

The University of Warwick chemistry researchers led by Dr Stefan Bon have found a simple way to individually coat the polymer particles used in such paints with a series of nanosized Laponite clay discs. The discs effectively create an armoured layer on the individual polymer latex particles in the paint. The clay discs are 1 nanometre thick by 25 nanometres in diameter.

The Lapointe clay discs can be applied using current industrial paint manufacture equipment. They not only provides an alternative to soap but can also be used to make the paint much more hard wearing and fire resistant.

The process devised by the Warwick team can be used to create highly sensitive materials for sensors. The researchers can take closely packed sample of the armoured polymers and heat it to burn away the polymer cores of the armoured particles leaving just a network of nanotech sized connected hollow spheres. This gives a very large useful surface area in a very small space which is an ideal material to use to create compact but highly sensitive sensors.

Their research is in a paper enitled "Pickering Miniemulsion Polymerization Using Laponite Clay as a Stabilizer" by Stefan A. F. Bon and Patrick J. Colver and is published as the cover article in Langmuir. The ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids Vol. 23, Issue 16 July 31.

Source: University of Warwick

Explore further: Tough foam from tiny sheets

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lenovo's smart glasses prototype has battery at neck

37 minutes ago

China's PC giant Lenovo last week offered a peek at its Google Glass-competing smart glass prototype, further details of which are to be announced in October. Lenovo's glasses prototype is not an extreme ...

Recommended for you

Tough foam from tiny sheets

14 hours ago

Tough, ultralight foam of atom-thick sheets can be made to any size and shape through a chemical process invented at Rice University.

Graphene surfaces on photonic racetracks

Jul 28, 2014

In an article published in Optics Express, scientists from The University of Manchester describe how graphene can be wrapped around a silicon wire, or waveguide, and modify the transmission of light through it.

Simulating the invisible

Jul 28, 2014

Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos in the OIST Nanoparticles by Design Unit simulates the interactions of particles that are too small to see, and too complicated to visualize. In order to study the particles' behavior, he uses ...

Building 'invisible' materials with light

Jul 28, 2014

A new method of building materials using light, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility ...

User comments : 0