An Intelligent Pigment
2014 R&D 100 Winner
Chemochromic pigments can be very robust hydrogen leak indicators due to their highly visible, long-term stability and reliable chemical reactions between the pigments and hydrogen. However, their implementation is often difficult because of environmental interference and gas permeability of the host materials. Patented research from the Univ. of Central Florida, NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center and HySense Technology LLC solves the known issues by combining a palladium-oxide chemochromic pigment in a novel silicon matrix that is environmentally resistant while being hydrogen permeable. When applied in a multi-layer tape form, the hydrogen permeates through the silicon matrix to reach the reactive pigments, where the pigment reduces to a metallic form. This provides the visual indication that hydrogen is present.
The tape, called Intellipigment, is a metallic TiO2-supported palladium oxide (PdO) compound that, when exposed to H2 gas, undergoes a color change transformation from beige to a uniform black color depending on PdO concentration. This transformation is mainly due to PdO reduction by hydrogen to metallic Pd. The pigments are synthesized by using four different TiO2 support materials. When used in tape form and wrapped around pipes, fittings or flanges, they can detect the presence of hydrogen gas in concentrations as low as 0.1% to pinpoint the location of a leak.
|Intellipigment development team. Back row (l-r): Janine Captain, Luke Roberson, Bobby DeVor, Gary Bockerman, Robert "Bob" Youngquist and Karen Thompson. Front row (l-r): Nahid Mohajeri, Nazim Muradov, Ali Raissi, Martha Williams and Trent Smith.|
The Intellipigment Development Team
Ali Raissi, Principal Technology Developer
Nahid Mohajeri, Principal Product Developer, HySense Technology
Robert "Bob" Youngquist