The technological advances of recent years have allowed us to create materials that, in addition to their aesthetic function, help us with the hygiene of the house.
We must bear in mind that a high percentage of our time is spent in indoor environments, and the concentration of pollutants in these spaces is very similar to the environment we find outside.
An example of these materials we are talking about are the antibacterial countertops. There is a wide variety of countertops to which specific treatments are applied that provide them with antibacterial properties, reducing bacteria by 99.9%, which guarantees an unalterable hygiene over time and a great resistance to stains and scratches . These types of treatments also apply to sanitary appliances.
An example we can talk about are the so-called intelligent paintings, which in addition to helping with hygiene provide many other properties. Nanotechnology has made it possible to obtain paints with special characteristics, since they include in their formulation a photo-catalytic agent in the form of nano-particles that are activated by solar radiation. This type of paint can solve the serious problems of pollution and pollution that exist in cities. Its operation could resemble the process of photosynthesis of plants. Light activates a substance by causing a chemical reaction called photo-catalysis.
Some of the features that have this kind of paintings are the following:
- Anticontaminants. Eliminate polluting compounds produced by vehicles and industries.
- Deodorizers. They transform materials through their decomposition at the molecular level into water and carbon dioxide. They break down the materials and gases that generate the bad smell at the molecular level, transforming them into water and carbon dioxide. The application is highly effective in places where bad odors are a problem such as certain industrial processes, garbage, smoking areas, etc.
- Sterilization. Eliminates 99% of bacteria, making it an excellent solution to prevent the spread of respiratory infections.
- Self-cleaning. They have super hydrophobic properties, so they become self-cleaning, either with rainwater if they are outside, or simply cleaning them with water only. They reduce cleaning, water and energy costs by 50% for cleaning, as well as avoiding the use of harmful chemicals.
- UV protection. This type of paint has special filters that protect the walls from ultraviolet rays, so the exterior facades retain their color for much longer.
We recently learned that a group of researchers from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow is working on an intelligent painting that allows us to anticipate and contain structural failures. This painting is based on carbon nanotubes of high alignment and fly ash, created by the combustion of coal. When the nanotubes in the paint begin to bend, their conductivity is altered, which serves as the first indication of a structural defect.