When it comes to fighting stains, "greener" is better. Chemists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill say they have developed an alternative material for making stain-resistant coatings that does not lead to the contamination of the environment with PFOA, a pervasive chemical that has been termed a "likely carcinogen" by an EPA advisory board.
PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) is used directly in the manufacture of the coatings used in nonstick cookware and is also produced by the gradual breakdown in the environment of stain-resistant coatings on clothing and paper goods. Both materials, which have similar properties, are manufactured under a variety of brand names. A growing number of researchers believe that fabric-based, stain-resistant coatings, which are ubiquitous, may be the largest environmental source of the controversial chemical.
The new materials use a novel type of short-chain fluorocarbon that does not degrade into PFOA and is less likely to cause health effects, the UNC scientists say. The greener compounds are primarily intended to replace conventional stain-resistant coatings that are now used in clothing and packaging that eventually degrade into PFOA, they say. The compounds are not designed to replace the coatings used in nonstick cookware that are manufactured using PFOA, the researchers point out. Their finding was described today at the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
Charmayne Marsh | EurekAlert!
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
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