Makeup is usually more cosmetic than functional, but that was before the U.S. Department of Defense, in partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi, got into the business. Now, after extensive research, scientists have created a special kind of face paint that can protect soldiers from the kind of extreme heat generated by bomb blasts.
The new face paint is silicone based, as opposed to the wax and oil base in traditional paints. That means anyone covered in it will be able to withstand short bursts of intense heat, such as the brief 600°C blast generated by an explosion. In fact, the silicone paint would allow soldiers to be exposed to even longer periods of high temperatures — it takes treated skin a full 15 seconds to experience burns when exposed to open flame.
While this paint could be life-saving for soldiers, it has plenty of other potential applications, as well. Scientists are already working on developing a similar, clear paint for firefighters. It's also believed that this technology could create fire-resistant fabrics.
[Image credit: Portrait of young soldier via Shutterstock]
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