The use of smart materials to manage industrial risks and improve the safety of goods and people is a rapidly expanding field of investigation. This approach is part of the advent of a new era, that of Industry 4.0.
The advent of interactive materials for the industry of the future
Also called Industry of the Future, it refers to this emerging generation of innovative, connected and robotized factories. These are characterized by intelligent automation of production tools and by the integration of new intelligent technologies.
Among the most used at the moment: augmented reality (adding information in our visual field), additive manufacturing (also called 3D manufacturing) and, of course, artificial intelligence to efficiently exploit Big Data. Smart materials with their adaptive properties are fully in line with this dynamic.
No need for electricity, it is a thermodynamic process that acts as a passive solution. The color change only occurs when the threshold is crossed. Everything is in the initial programming of the material to present the right threshold and the effect on demand can be reversible or irreversible.
This programming of the material also allows us to take into account the nature of the detection according to the use: visual detection, assisted detection (via a camera, drone,…), or even amplified to monitor the first stages of certain events.
For a certain number of industrial uses, the alert function sought is a visual detection. The process of color change is often preferred for its simplicity of interpretation and its understanding by all.
For example, an operator who observes the color change of a thermochromic ink (or a thermochromic paint) on the surface :
- of a motor to warn of an overheating condition,
- of an electrical element to identify a short circuit,
- of a tank to visualize its filling level,
- of an industrial pipe (valves, ovens,…) to control the occurrence of an anomaly.
Our role in this case is to adjust the color change to the malfunction to be monitored. For example, it is necessary to integrate the notions of duration of the event (time scale, number of ON/OFF cycles), choice of colors, implementation,…
For other industrial risks, our teams develop solutions allowing to create an interaction with an optical device (camera, video surveillance, drone, robots,…).
Depending on the application, we adjust the wavelength, the selectivity and the reactivity of the materials. This allows us to automate the detection. For example, the development of intelligent coatings allowing a drone to detect the presence of a leak on a pipeline…
Amplified detection: making the invisible visible
For certain industrial safety issues, the aim is to make the invisible visible, to detect traces, the beginnings of a malfunction (such as the early signs of corrosion), to visualize an object, a coating, etc.
In this context, we are also developing a series of technical coatings (paints for interior and exterior signage) which are charged by natural or artificial light and which light up at night for more than 10 hours. These solutions are now deployed to reinforce the security of industrial sites in the event of a power cut, or even to take over when companies turn off the lighting for part of the night for better environmental and energy management.
OliKrom expertise at your service
An industrial failure to solve
Our know-how in the field of color intelligence is at your service. With 15 years of experience, our company works with many companies to develop innovative solutions to improve safety: accident prevention, protection of tools, equipment and operators’ health.
The culture of our company is to guarantee the greatest discretion with regard to the sensitivity of the information communicated. A training plan is implemented to regularly raise the awareness of our teams.
Our approach is to analyze your needs and to be a force of proposal to bring an optimal solution. Our toolbox is color intelligence, the art of mastering materials to modulate their optical response according to an external event. This programming of the material allows us to bring up information, to analyze an event, to signal an anomaly or an incident.
A response adapted to your needs
Depending on the analysis of the industrial risk and the equipment to be secured, we adapt the optical response of the materials. Our research team (doctors, engineers, etc.) inserts molecular markers to make your systems reactive to temperature (thermochromic materials), light (photochromic and photoluminescent materials), pressure (piezochromic materials), and the presence of a solvent or gas (chemochromic materials).
Our activities and our mastery of color intelligence are regularly highlighted. We were recently awarded the “Industrial Growth” prize at the Grands Prix de l’Industrie du Futur organized by La Tribune.
This type of protective equipment, risk visualization, is of interest to companies in all sectors in France and abroad: petrochemical, nuclear, energy, environment… There are many examples of development of intelligent materials to guarantee the safety of goods and people. For each need, we develop and produce the optimal solution in our factory in Pessac (France).