Smart Paint Can Monitor Integrity of Underlying Structures:
A new paint made of power plant waste and carbon nanotubes can automatically detect structural faults, alerting authorities before damage occurs. It could be a cheaper, easier way to monitor facilities like bridges, mines and even wind turbines. It’s made from aligned carbon nanotubes, which can carry an electric current, and fly ash, which is a byproduct of coal burning. The paint can be sprayed onto any surface, and electrodes are attached to it, according to developers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. If the nanotubes bend, their conductivity will change, which will be detected by the electrodes. Small wireless transmitters placed throughout the structure would receive data from the electrodes. If they detect a change in conductivity, this would be considered a sign of a defect in the structure. Then the system could conceivably alert the company or government body responsible for maintaining said structure.
(via Nanotube Paint Can Spot Structural Defects and Alert Authorities Before Damage Occurs | Popular Science)