Material developed to protect against electric shock
The material is a coating that covers hand gloves and jacket sleeves for protecting people that generally work in industrial or hydroelectric power plant settings.Bogotá D. C., 17 de septiembre de 2015 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
The coating would be placed on the gloves and jacket sleeves for people that work in dams or power plants.
The students performed more than 400 tests which also helped them create an experimental methodology.
The material was developed by recently graduated UNal Chemical Engineers Diana Paola Rincón Valbuena and Lorena Leguizamón. Their worked obtained first place in the poster category of the Chemical Engineering Student Congress recently held in Guatemala City (Guatemala).
The proposal for this new technology is the result of a thesis project entitled, “Dielectric isolating properties coating made from coagulated natural latex.”
With this research project they hope to incentivize the latex extracting industry, which is extracted from a tree scientifically known as Hevea brasiliensis.
“There aren’t many professionals who know the technical handling of this material because it has been passed on from generation to generation; therefore we are facing the possibility of using our engineering skills and generating knowledge,” said Rincón.
Furthermore there are not currently any companies in Latin America which produce coatings with dielectric isolating properties. They are all imported from countries such as United States and Germany.
Valbuena says that Colombia could have appropriate handling of this species for raw materials to be optimal, as many times latex is mixed with water and does not comply with industry standards. On other occasions it is imported from Guatemala.”
To produce this material it was key to achieve an optimum thickness so the coating would comply with minimal requirements. The researchers use natural formulated latex to a thickness of 6 millimeters (0.26 in.) which can withstand up to 6 kilovolts, which is equal to a moderate electrical discharge. This is the most basic coating known as Class 1, although the idea is, with time to achieve Class 4 coating.
The students performed more than 400 tests which also helped them create an experimental methodology, “we truly carried out a difficult task, during the whole process we saw that we had to perform a very strict follow-up because as we made the items the solid content of our blend was becoming exhausted; these are observations where one can tell a company how to improve a production model for these types of coatings,” said Rincón.
The project was endorsed by the UNal Deputy Rector's Office of Research and Directed by Professor Luis Alejandro Boyacá of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering; furthermore it had the support of the firm Unirubber, who provided the students with the raw materials.(Por: Fin/JSH/DMH/CA