Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists show there's nothing boring about watching paint dry

Date:
August 11, 2010
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
It turns out that watching paint dry might not be as boring as the old adage claims. Researchers have come up with a new technique to study the mechanics of coatings as they dry and peel, and has discovered that the process is far from mundane.

Microscopic fluorescent tracking particles reveal a side view of the coating as it peels, with a plot of the stress exerted on the surface.
Credit: Graphic design by Wendolyn Hill with data from Ye Xu and Eric Dufresne

It turns out that watching paint dry might not be as boring as the old adage claims. A team led by Yale University researchers has come up with a new technique to study the mechanics of coatings as they dry and peel, and has discovered that the process is far from mundane.

In the August 9-13 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team presents a new way to image and analyze the mechanical stress that causes colloidal coatings -- those in which microscopic particles of one substance are dispersed throughout another -- to peel off of surfaces.

Understanding how and why coatings fail has broad applications in the physical and biological sciences, said Eric Dufresne, the John J. Lee Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Yale and lead author of the study.

"Coatings protect almost every surface you encounter, from paint on a wall to Teflon on a frying pan to the skin on our own bodies. When coatings peel and crack they put the underlying material at risk," Dufresne said. "Our research is aimed at pinpointing the failure of coatings. We've developed this new technique to zoom in on coatings and watch them fail at the microscopic level."

To visualize the microscopic motion of paint in 3D, the team mixed in tiny fluorescent particles that glow when illuminated by a laser. By tracing the motion of these particles over time with a microscope, they captured the motion of the paint as it peeled and dried in detail.

In addition, the team was able to track the 3-D forces generated by the paint as it dried, producing a "stress map" of the mechanical deformation of the coating as it failed. "The trick was to apply the paint to a soft surface, made of silicone rubber, that is ever so slightly deformed by the gentle forces exerted by the drying paint," Dufresne said.

Although the current study focuses on colloidal coatings, the technique could be applied to all kinds of coatings, Dufresne said. Next, the team hopes to improve on current methods for mitigating peeling in a wide range of coatings.

"This is a completely new way of looking at a very old problem."

Other authors of the study include Ye Xu, Wilfried Engl, Elizabeth Jerison and Callen Hyland (Yale University); Kevin Wallenstein (Princeton University); and Larry Wilen (Unilever).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Xu, W. C. Engl, E. R. Jerison, K. J. Wallenstein, C. Hyland, L. A. Wilen, E. R. Dufresne. Imaging in-plane and normal stresses near an interface crack using traction force microscopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1005537107

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Scientists show there's nothing boring about watching paint dry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122212.htm>.
Yale University. (2010, August 11). Scientists show there's nothing boring about watching paint dry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122212.htm
Yale University. "Scientists show there's nothing boring about watching paint dry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122212.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

AP (July 30, 2014) 3-D printing is a cool technology, but it's not exactly a hands-on way to make things. Enter the 3Doodler: the pen that turns you into the 3-D printer. AP technology writer Peter Svensson takes a closer look. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins