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What is Nanopaint?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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Nanopaint is a type of covering or coating that is applied to surfaces in a manner similar to oil or water based paint. The main difference with nanopaint is that the compound contains microscopic particles that are known as nanotubes. A nanotube helps to create an effective barrier that prevents many types of external influence from interfering with the function of a given device.

The process of nanopainting is not unlike that of any type of paint project. The compound can be applied with the use of a brush or with a paint gun. Nanopaint is a liquid, so it is spread in an even coat and allowed to dry. Once in place, the nanopaint hardens into a coat that makes it possible to pass on or block electronic signals, depending on the programming of the nanotubes.

While still in the developmental stages, nanopaint is already seen as an effective means of dealing with a number of different issues. The application of nanopaint on the exterior of a building could be used to block infrared rays and thus help to keep the interior of the space cooler, while also making it possible to absorb solar energy on days that are sunny but cool. The result of this application would mean expending less energy to keep the space at a comfortable temperature regardless of the outside weather conditions.

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The use of nanopaint may also provide a means of dealing with some of the simple etiquette issues that have arisen since the advent of the cell phone. Painting walls in theaters, classrooms, libraries and other public spaces where ringing phones are not acceptable with nanopaint would result in blocking the signals. This would mean less incidents of people being subjected to overhearing phone conversations when attention should be focused elsewhere.

Another anticipated function of nanopaint is to apply a clear coat to glass. This would allow the creation of opaque windowpanes and other sections of glass that would make in possible for people to see out of the glass, but prevent anyone outside the space from peeking inside.

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VivAnne
Post 8

@anon79774 - I was just thinking the same thing -- this stuff would be great for keeping cell phone calls and even wireless internet signals out of jails!

Another thing it would be just ideal for would be to keep anybody from hacking into internalized computer mainframes, like those found in government buildings. You could create a shielded batch of server computers that could not be hacked by anybody but someone inside the building -- and then if that happened, there could be a lockdown and there would only be so many people to go through before they found the culprit.

The best thing about nanopaint, in my opinion, is that it's versatile. It can be programmed to block or allow electrical signals as the controller pleases, so if those same government buildings or jails ever wanted to allow network access and phone calls, they could simply reprogram the paint!

Hawthorne
Post 7

@hanley79 - Oh, good, somebody else knows about how nano paint generates electricity. I told my mom and should wouldn't believe me!

I guess it does sound pretty bizarre -- paint that generates its own power. Did you know that there are now paint-on solar panels, too? You can paint a surface to make it into a solar panel, no joke. As for nano paint, in addition to the really helpful stuff like generating electricity and sealing out cell phone signals, it can also do some fun stuff.

There is a type of nano paint called auto nano paint that even lets you change the color by programming it. That just seems so science fiction to me, yet so awesome at the same time. I could "repaint" my kitchen to whatever color scheme I felt like by just pressing some buttons!

hanley79
Post 6

@ahain - As great as that all sounds, I don't think nanopaint is quite to the stage where it could block nuclear radiation. It's still in development, though, so maybe someday!

In the meantime, I can answer a few of your questions. Nanopaint operates by programming nanotubes. The fact that nanotubes are programmable tells me that they require electricity to function, so it might seem like they would not be the ideal thing to coat toxic waste containers in. After all, the nanopaint would stop working -- and blocking any radiation or radio waves -- as soon as no electrical current was available to maintain the programming, right?

Wrong. One of the most fascinating things about thermal-insulating nanopaint is that it actually uses the temperatures inside and outside a building to generate electricity. Toxic waste containers painted with it could probably do the same thing and generate their own power. Cool, huh?

ahain
Post 5

Nanopaint sounds like truly fascinating stuff. I wonder what other kinds of radiation it can block besides cell phone signals and UV radiation? If it could block something much stronger, such as nuclear radiation, it would be a fantastic thing to paint nuclear reactors with!

Even if it couldn't block nuclear radiation entirely, muting how much of it escapes would still be a significant improvement over what they do to contain the nuclear radiation now.

What is the lifespan of nanopaint, does anybody know? I mean, can you paint something -- say, irradiated toxic waste containers -- with it and expect reasonably that they will not ever leak?

anon79774
Post 4

It would be really useful in keeping cellphone waves out of the jails also! But which solvent is used?

anon79346
Post 3

Interesting but kind of scary, too. What immediately comes to mind is the potential for misuse. Got to think about this some more for sure. Thanks for the service you provide.

anon79029
Post 2

Great post.

anon78336
Post 1

Excellent! Appreciate what you do. Thanks for sharing.

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