For soldiers on the battlefield, camouflage face paint is already a well-known method of disguise. Now the special makeup may also provide a crucial layer of defence against the intense heat of exploding roadside bombs or other blasts that cause severe burns. Researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi have developed a camouflage face paint that can withstand temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (the heat produced from a typical bomb blast) for up to 15 seconds, The New Scientist’s Molly Docherty reports. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of defence.
In addition to being heat-resistant, the new silicon-based paint also had to have camouflage colours that worked during the day and at night, be waterproof, and be easy to apply or remove similar to the way you would smear on suntan lotion, according to a press release from the American Chemical Society, which presented the research at a meeting in Philadelphia today.
The face paint has already passed the first round of lab tests in order to warrant continued development. Researchers are now looking to test the product on materials like clothing and tents. They’re also developing a clear paint for firefighters.
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