Space technology to protect thatched roofs

The technology that safeguards rocket launch vehicles from high-temperature fire can protect not only the thatched roofs but also prevent water seepage in concrete buildings.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)’ scientists, Thiruvananthapuram, have exhibited the ceramic-polymer hybrid (CASPOL), a spin-off product that can protect public transport systems and poor men residing in thatched homes from fire incidents. Caspol is an indigenously developed, easy-to-use flameproof coating, from the VSSC stable. The water-based ready to coat product was initially created to protect the rockets from high temperature and fire to which they are exposed during the initial moments of launch.
“Huge exhaust plumes of high temperature engulf a rocket when it lifts off from the launch pad. The protective pads that cover the rockets are coated with Caspol to save them from fire and high temperature to which they are exposed to,” elucidated K. Sivan, director of VSSC.
As per Dr. Sivan, Caspol can withstand up to 800 degree Celsius. Seats in automobiles, public transport system and seat cushions of railway coaches can be made fireproof when Caspol is applied. The ceramic-polymer hybrid will influence the cushioning characteristics notably of seats once it is applied, the scientists vouched.
Apart from its ability to protect against fire and high temperature, Caspol can also make surfaces waterproof. When applied to the concrete surface of buildings, fuel the micro cracks and holes in concrete to avoid water from seeping in. When applied to the concrete surface of buildings, the high emissivity of the product minimizes the temperature inside the building by at least 5 to 6 degree Celsius, the researchers emphasized.
It can be applied to a variety of substrates such as masonry surfaces, textiles, paper, thatched leaves and wood to modern materials like polyurethane and phenolic-based thermal insulation foam pads, VSSC states.
The center has explained the product as one which is eco-friendly as it is free of toxic materials. It could be applied either by brushing or spraying on the desired surface. The economic, water-based formulation with self-extinguishing properties could cure at room temperature and has good adhesion and water repellent characteristics, researchers informed.
“The materials coated with Caspol will be self-extinguished within four seconds after removal of flame. It can adhere well with the substrate surface both in dry condition and after exposing the coated foams to water. Foam materials can be impregnated with Caspol by dip coating,” observes the center.

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