Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata, have developed an organic-inorganic hybrid material which is fire and rust resistant.
The results of the study were published in a journal called ACS Omega.
The organic-inorganic hybrid material was synthesised by combining polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) and diphenylalanine. The POSS molecule by itself has unique properties such as high thermal stability and fire retarding ability.
While both POSS and diphenylalanine are naturally water repelling, the hydrophobic nature gets enhanced when they are combined.
• Paper or other materials coated with the hydrophobic hybrid molecular material can behave similar to the lotus leaf and keep the surface clean and completely water-proof.
• The molecular material also increases the mechanical strength of the coated paper 1.5 times.
• Besides this, it can also inhibit bacterial growth and make coated material such as paper or wood fire and flame proof.
• The hybrid material is colourless and does not react with metal.
• Nails coated with the material were able to resist corrosion even when treated with an aqueous solution of sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium bromide and hydrochloric acid.
• Silver artefacts coated with the material were able to resist the formation of black colour (silver sulphide) on its surface when treated with hydrogen sulphide for 10 minutes.
• Matchsticks coated with the hybrid material were able to extinguish the flame as soon as the fire reached the coated portion.
Uses of the Material
The hydrophobic nature of the hybrid material will be able to protect artefacts from environmental pollution and corrosion.
The fire-resistant property of the material will prevent plenty of accidents that take place when people throw out lighted matchsticks, as the coating would extinguish the flame immediately as it reaches it.
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