Sunbathing has become more popular in recent years, with thousands of beach-goers now enjoying the sport in New York, Los Angeles, Florida and other major American cities.
The popularity has prompted researchers at Rutgers University to set up an online forum to discuss how to create a backyard beach-themed sunbed, and they have now released a report on how to do it.
The researchers say that a lot of people make their own backyard sunbaths, and many use disposable plastic buckets, which can cause algae blooms.
But it turns out that they have a better solution, they say.
“The challenge is the cost, and it’s much less expensive to make the product from scratch,” says Andrea Lezama, an associate professor in the department of chemistry and molecular biology and a co-author of the paper.
“I was not able to find a commercially available solar filter for making the sunbed.
So we made our own from a 3D printer.
It was very simple to make,” she said.”
In order to get the best results we needed to use a process that is not commercially available, like a chemical synthesis, but it is not too difficult to do,” she added.
In order for the sunbath to work, the material must be created from a porous material.
The researchers used silicone oil, which they used to create the material.
They then applied this silicone to a plastic sheet, which has been coated with a film of calcium carbonate.
In order that the plastic sheet can retain the film, they used a UV-emitting dye to add UV light to the plastic.
The results of the project, which was published in ACS Nano, show that the sunscreen produced a film that was 3.8 times stronger than standard sunscreen filters, and made the sunscreen absorb 95 per cent of the sun’s energy, or about 200 times more energy than the equivalent amount of UV-B.
This is equivalent to about 1,000 times the amount of solar radiation absorbed by a human body every day.
Although the researchers believe that the sunbathes work very well, there is still a lot to learn about this material, which could help to reduce the amount that sunscreen can damage human skin.
“Our results provide an exciting insight into the evolution of solar absorbers and solar sunscreen,” the authors conclude.
“This work demonstrates that a relatively simple process that can be applied to other materials is able to create sunscreen that is 100 per cent effective, even under very challenging conditions.
We believe that our discovery opens up new avenues of research and development for sunscreen that will reduce skin damage and improve health.”
[Via The New York Times and Associated Press]