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SBIR Phase I:Multifunctional coatings for building envelopes
Phone: (401) 330-6973
Phone: (401) 330-6973
This broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop coatings for walls and ceilings that have climate-regulating properties, resulting in improved energy efficiency, durability, and comfort for buildings. Buildings account for around 40% of primary energy consumption in the United States, and while increasing insulation and airtightness can lower energy costs, this also increases vulnerability to moisture damage. Inadequate moisture management has significant costs, and over one third of U.S. structures experience damp conditions that promote the growth of harmful pollutants like mold and bacteria. Moreover, water is a major cause of failure of building materials. Multifunctional coatings provide a solution that can be incorporated in a straightforward manner into both new constructions and retrofits._x000D_
The architectural coatings to be developed in this project have commercial potential and will make a broad impact because they will provide a cost-effective solution to the interconnected challenges of humidity control, thermal efficiency, and moisture durability. The coatings use the high energy storage capacity of moisture storage materials, mimicking how plants use water to regulate their temperature through transpiration.The research will focus on optimizing the formulations of a primer and a topcoat so that they work together as a multifunctional material system capable of effectively managing the flows of water vapor and heat. A first function of the system is to provide directional control over vapor diffusion in the manner of a vapor diode.This diode will create a pumping effect that actively removes moisture from the wall cavity and enhances a building's durability. A second function of the coatings is to buffer the humidity in the building, which increases comfort. A final function is to store and release significant amounts of latent heat as water vapor evaporates and condenses within its structure, which reduces temperature fluctuations and energy consumption required for climate control._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *