Chemical weapon aware military paint research begins

Paint used to camouflage military vehicles by the United Kingdom could potentially become an enhanced method for protecting soldiers from chemical weapon attacks, researchers hope.

A camouflage paint developed to be quickly placed on or taken off of vehicles could have potential additional defensive applications, the British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory has said.

The strippable paint technology is currently employed on Humvees and other military vehicles to change the vehicle's color quickly to match its surrounding environment.

The group is seeking to pursue methods to change the paint so that it will absorb chemical warfare materials and potentially render them harmless to soldiers.

The researchers, who noted that chemical warfare applications for the paint technology could be years away, would ultimately like to create a paint that changes colors upon contact with contaminating substances.

The paint would then decontaminate itself and return to its original color once the process is complete. The reactive coating would include enzymes and catalysts to achieve its goals.

The researchers noted that, while the goal is long term, the ultimate objective of creating a chemically warfare aware paint is not an unreasonable outcome.

There are other similar coating projects in the works, though they currently require a caustic wash to be carried out before they can be disposed of safely.