In an era when most architectural materials are manufactured from plastic, aluminium, or some other plasticizer, there is a very special material that can be made from a very old material.
And that material is called architectural sputtering coatings.
Architectural sputtering coats are used for the exterior of buildings and the interior as well.
They are made from old aluminium foil and they are called architectural insulators.
This material is used in some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Shard in London, and the Empire State Building in New York.
“The idea that you could use something that’s been in use for thousands of years in a new way, something that is very new in our lives, it’s quite an exciting prospect,” says Dr. Matthew Pritchard, an architectural materials expert and professor of civil engineering at the University of New South Wales.
Archive Photos:Architecture Sputtering Coatings – A Story Of Invention and Change (video)In the 1970s, Pritich and his colleague Richard Cottrell found an interesting new way to use an old, very useful material.
They decided to make a coat that was so thin that it could be rolled up into a very small package.
So, they could wrap the coat in a protective layer of polyethylene tape.
That’s when they started to work out how to make coats that could be used as insulators on the inside of buildings.
“It’s quite amazing how many applications of insulators and coatings have been around for many thousands of year,” says Pritborough.
Archival Photos:Structural Insulators – A History of the Insulators (video/audio)The idea for insulators came about when they were looking for an insulator that would be a good insulator for the building they were working on, Pritch said.
“At the time, they were using polyethylenimine, which is a type of film that was used to protect buildings,” he said.
“The idea was that this film would be thin enough that it would be able to be rolled into the thickness of a piece of tape and then it would have the same strength as a real tape, but it would still be very strong.”
Architecturally Insulated Insulators, or the Tape Insulator (video / audio)In 1972, Prahls and his colleagues at the National University of Singapore (NUS) designed the insulator using polycarbonate film.
It was called a tape insulator because it would make it possible to roll it into a tape.
Prit’s team made another version of the tape insulators in 1978.
In 1984, they used a similar design to the tape and found that they were still very good insulators, Prakals said.
They were able to make one that was a little thicker than the tape.
Archives Photos:A Tape Insulated Coat with Polycarbonate Film and Polyethylene Tape (video, video/audio, video)The tape insulating coat that Prits and his team made was called the tape coat and it was made from polyethylensilicate polypropylene film, PRA.
The tape coat, or tape insulation coat, was first made by Pritch in the early 1960s, but Prit and his research group were able for the first time to make the film that would become the tape-insulating coat.
“We did it in a very controlled way,” Prit said.
It took them six months to make it, but the coat was the most stable of all of the coatings they made.
“A tape coat can be rolled, rolled up, folded and then rolled again,” Prahs said.
The coat can even be stretched and folded.
“And when you do roll it, it is very stable and it is actually very strong,” Prakal said.
Archived Photos:An Insulated Tape Coat with polyethylenesilicate Polypropylene Film and PRA (video – video, video, audio)”We used a really good adhesive film, which was polyethylenediamine diacetate,” Pra said.
This film is a fairly common adhesive film that can stick to very thin objects, but is usually very brittle.
Pra and his group also developed a thin film that they called the polyethylenic coating, which they call the polyamide film.
The film that the researchers made is made from the same kind of film as the tape coating, and it’s just thinner.
“So, it can be used for a very short time, and that’s very important,” Prap said.
In the 1980s, other researchers found a way to make coatings that would not only last for years, but also could be applied to other materials, like plastic, to protect them from environmental damage.
“That was a really big leap forward in coatings