Militaries around the world are always looking for ways to keep their own troops safer from a variety of dangers. One seemingly unlikely solution to the problem of burns from fire and explosion might one day come in the form of face paint. Obviously, face paint can’t do anything about the shock and energy of a blast, but it can do something about damage from heat.
US researchers have created a camouflage face paint that may soon be used by soldiers and firemen to shield them from extreme heat.
As well as waves of pressure, exploding bombs emit blasts of heat that can exceed 600 °C. Such a blast may only last a couple of seconds, but that’s long enough to cook human skin. A soldier’s conventional camouflage make-up only makes matters worse as it contains oil and wax.
The US Department of Defense funded researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi to tackle the problem. The team upgraded camouflage face paint by replacing its carbon base with silicone. Silicone is non-flammable as it absorbs heat outside of the spectrum produced by intense flames.
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