Researchers have created a wallpaper using materials found in bones, teeth and hormones that sounds an alarm when it senses heat and flames.
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The ways in which innovative technology has revolutionized health and safety procedure is incredible. We have seen a number of ways in which such inventions have been able to keep people safe, especially when it comes to fire risk. For example, the AR display system helps firefighters navigate their way out of burning buildings. Another example is the Smokey app, which turns old android phones into smart smoke detectors. This is done using the phone’s audio system and alerts users if a fire breaks out. Now, researchers at the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences have recently been able come up with another way to protect people from fire. Their wallpaper can detect fire and trigger an alarm. Moreover, the wallpaper is highly inflammable and has high-temperature resistance. These properties help prevent the fire from spreading.
They discovered that the material used to make wallpaper is highly flammable. This prompted them to seek an alternative. Their unique design is made from hydroxyapatite, amongst other things. This is the inorganic component which makes up human teeth and bones. To make the material supple enough to be suitable for wallpaper, they used ultralong nanowires of hydroxyapatite. The researchers added in an ink-based thermosensitive sensor into the wallpaper too. This thermosensitive sensor is positioned behind the wallpaper, up against the wall. The sensor is made from graphene oxide which conducts electricity when heated up. Therefore, when fire breaks out, the sensor completes the circuit and consequently sounds the alarm.
This innovation could save numerous lives and reduce damage done by fires. How else could technologically advanced materials help to keep us safe? Will there come a time when such practice becomes widespread and viable on a large scale?