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Detect impact with smart pigments

Le Bourget 2017 will be the occasion for the Bordeaux-based SME OliKrom to present the fruit of several years of research and development with Airbus: intelligent pigments that make it possible to create inks or paints sensitive to changes in their environment. In other words, the coatings change colour when there is a disturbance in temperature, light, pressure, a solvent or a gas. OliKrom will be demonstrating these innovations throughout Le Bourget 2017.

The initial project of OliKrom and Airbus was to detect impact on composite materials during the transport of the various parts of an Airbus from all over Europe to the final assembly line. The two partners have developed a paint that can identify any impact above a certain threshold with the naked eye. The colour of the paint changes under the effect of a pressure variation following an impact.

At the same time, OliKrom and Airbus have developed a heat-sensitive coating for detecting overheating, even if it is very localised, on a part close to the hot zones, such as an engine cowling. Here too, the aim is to improve safety and quickly identify a minor incident such as a hot air leak and thus be able to programme maintenance action in the event of a possible risk of damage.