AkzoNobel and UK military scientists have teamed up to produce a new topcoat for tanks and weaponry that can absorb deadly chemicals—even nerve gas, reports say.
The coating is the result of a collaboration between the world’s largest paint and coatings maker and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), reports The Engineer, a respected UK technology journal.
|The coating, available in a standard range of camouflage colors, will be tested on the UK’s Warrior tank, reports said.|
The coating will likely be tested first on the UK’s Warrior tank, the journal reported.
The Engineer said the topcoat would complement a peelable paint that is already in use on armed vehicles.
‘The super-absorbent topcoat material that we developed with AkzoNobel provides even greater levels of absorbance,’ Dr. Steven Mitchell, a team leader of decontamination research at DSTL, told the journal.
Silica and Sticky Notes
The topcoat contains silica gel, an absorbent material that can stop nerve gas from getting inside a vehicle, the journal said.
The undercoat is made of a sticky polymer with an adhesive similar to that of stick-on notes. The polymer holds the topcoat in place, but it can be peeled off and disposed of as needed, the report said.
AkzoNobel is manufacturing the paint in standard camouflage colors.
Researchers will next look at coatings that alert soldiers they are under chemical attack by changing color when they absorb toxic chemicals, The Engineer reports. After that may come coatings that neutralize chemicals.
“A team of scientists at Vermont University has already managed to combine silica gel with a vanadium catalyst to create a mixture that oxidizes mustard gas, deeming it harmless,” the report says.