Blast-Resistant/Heat-Resistant Camouflage Face Paint Developed for U.S. Military Infantry Warfighters: Will the New Camo Face Paint Incorporate Thermal/IR (Infrared) Camouflage Aspect?

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By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

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September 7, 2012

NewScientist recently published a short piece on "heat-proof" military camouflage face paint, which could more accurately be described heat-resistant military face paint/camo paint being developed for te U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). According to the piece, the new camo paint can protect "guarded areas" on military infantry warfighters/soldiers against blasts that exceed 600 degrees Celsius / 1112 degrees Fahrenheit for the required 2 seconds and has proven to protect bare hands and feet for 15 seconds "before mild, first-degree burns appeared", which should give the wearer time to move out of the danger zone.

The new anti-blast/anti-heat camouflage face paint, recently shown at a "broader symposium on innovations in ingredients for personal care products" at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), was developed by a team at the University of Southern Mississipi (USM), and had to meet a variety of U.S. military specifications, including the 30% DEET (industrial-grade insect repellent) requirement. The chemists involved are Dr. Paige Buchanan, Kelli Booth, Michelle McClusky, Laura Anderson, and Robert Lochhead, Ph.D., but DefenseReview (DR) doesn't know their precise respective roles in the effort.

Defense Review found the following passage from a press release on the new product interesting:

The trickiest part was that the University of Southern Mississippi team had to avoid the use of mineral oil, mineral spirits, fatty substances and other traditional hydrocarbon makeup ingredients. Hydrocarbons can burn in contact with intense heat in the flame spectrum. The team turned to silicones, which are not as flammable because they absorb radiation at wavelengths outside of the intense heat spectrum. Silicones have been replacing hydrocarbons in many commercial cosmetic makeup products as cosmetics companies improve products to confer better feel properties and transfer-resistance.

It would be interesting to see if an anti-thermal/IR (Infrared)-detection aspect can be integrated into the new camo face paint that provides the same anti-thermal/IR-detection capability as the INTERMAT Chameleon series of Low Observation Paints (LOP). DR wrote about Intermat's Chameleon camo face paint in 2005.

A colorless version of the new face paint is being developed for firefighters, and the the team will be testing its viability for various commercial applications, including clothing and tents.

Click here to read the official press release on the technology.

Organization Contact Info:

University of Southern Mississippi (USM)
118 College Drive
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
Phone: 601.266.1000
Email Contact Form:

Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Philadelpha Phone: 215-418-2056 (Philadelphia Press Center, Aug. 17-23)
Washington D.C. Phone: 202-872-6042

Michael Woods
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Philadelphia Phone: 215-418-2056 (Philadelphia Press Center, Aug. 17-23)
Washington D.C. Phone: 202-872-6293

American Chemical Society (ACS)
1155 Sixteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036 USA
Toll Free: 800-227-5558
Phone: 202-872-4600

108, N. Plastira
Nea Smyrni, 171 22
Athens, Greece
Phone: +30 210 94 02 977
Fax: +30 210 94 04 604

© Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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Blast-Resistant/Heat-Resistant Camouflage Face Paint Developed for U.S. Military Infantry Warfighters: Will the New Camo Face Paint Incorporate Thermal/IR (Infrared) Camouflage Aspect? by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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