Technology of Paint
Terahertz spectroscopy is an emerging field of research, which allows materials to be probed by radiation pulses making many of them transparent.
This is particularly interesting as various materials can be seen through a visually opaque layer where a unique type of “spectral fingerprint” can be identified through the process. In this Global Challenges project, the material in question is paint, and specifically paint applied to metal. Terahertz spectroscopy will be used to look at, within and beyond paint for both decorative and protective purposes.
Steel, particularly relevant to the Illawarra is at the heart of this project in both an industrial and creative basis. The research program involves shining Terahertz radiation onto painted metal to penetrate the paint layer and reflect from the metal below. Analysis of the reflected radiation will provide detailed information about the paint layer/s and underlying metal surface. This method will identify such issues as residual water, incipient rust, paint layer ablation from the characteristic signatures of the paint itself. A range of materials will be examined, including acrylic and oil paint, pigments of different opacities, as well as substrates such as steel, aluminium and other comparative surfaces.
The goal of the project will to be provide insights into decorative and protective coatings to stimulate the development of new finishes and collaboration with other researchers.
The Chief Investigating Officer is Professor Roger Lewis who is a Leader and co-ordinator of Terahertz spectroscopy experiments in the School of Physics in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences.
Investigator, Dr Madeleine Kelly who is a Visual Arts lecturer and practitioner within the School of The Arts, English and Media within the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts.
Investigator, Dr Stephen van Duin, Program Leader Maritime Platforms and Engineering applications within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences.
Investigator, Dr Adam Trevitt within the School of Chemistry with the Faculty of Science Medicine and Health, with a specialisation in chemical characterisation and instrumentation.