War Paint Can Protect Against Bomb Blasts
August 23, 2012

Camouflage Makeup Keeps Your Face From Melting

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

While most men would have a problem with wearing makeup, if your face is coated with this new technology it might just save your life, or at least maybe keep your nose from melting off.

A new camouflage makeup technology was revealed on Wednesday at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

The new age war paint can do more than just hide your face amongst the leaves, but can actually act as a shield from the heat of bomb blasts.

Scientists have changed the game once again by adding this new element to a centuries old tactic.

The new camouflage makeup is able to protect a soldier's face and hands for up to 15 seconds before its temperatures rise to the point of causing first-degree burns.

The scientists said that in testing, the war paint was able to protect its wearer for up to 60 seconds, effectively giving soldiers the necessary time to get away from danger.

Soldiers may not be the only ones who could be donning this makeup in the future. Firefighters might need to get their face foundation on as well to help in the field.

At first, Dr. Robert Lochhead from the University of Southern Mississippi thought it would be impossible to make the heat shielding makeup, but after patent searches and research, he and his team found a way.

"The challenge was bombs literally cook anything in its path," Lochhead said in a press conference that redOrbit attended at ACS.  "It only lasts about two seconds, but in those two seconds, anything in its path suffers third degree burns and dies."

The team had to develop a way to make a camouflage makeup that reflected the heat back. Lochhead said that it's like waves on the water coming into shore, and the boats tied to the dock just rock up and down along with the wave and let the water pass. They essentially had to develop something that would stop the wave from reaching the surface of the skin.

In order to create this, the scientists used pigments that were larger than the intense part of the heat wave spectrum, which lies around 7 microns.

"The crystal structure has to be much bigger than seven microns so they can reflect back," Lochhead said at the conference.

The scientists are already performing field tests with the makeup, but not on actual human beings or animals yet, because "you need to do a lot of testing" in case there is a field test failure.

The team is using its prototype they've developed on pigskin they got from slaughter houses, and Lochhead said those tests have worked out very well. The only thing they need now is to gather up some money to keep going.

Right now, the team is trying to push their product to the Department of Defense, as well as companies, to try and get funding to continue the project. The military initially brought up the idea to Lochhead in the first place.

"We are on our way to a commercial product that will hopefully save lives," Lochhead told the reporters.