Nanoscience tries to wipe out illegal art


We may have come a long way from the graffiti-covered city subways of decades past, but illicit art is still an expensive problem for municipalities, corporations, universities and even homeowners. Now a Las Vegas company is betting it can make a difference with a nanoparticulate-enhanced sealant: Graffiti Armor.

The $200 per gallon, water-based sealant can be applied to almost any surface, according to Harry Azevedo, president of SealGuard USA, including porous surfaces that need to breathe, like concrete and masonry. Workers apply the sealant with a hand sprayer, roller or paintbrush, Azevedo said. Afterwards, they can remove graffiti with warm soapy water. An extra-powerful version, Bullet Proof Graffiti Armor, sells for $396 per gallon.

SealGuard USA’s Graffiti Armor makes sure paint won’t stick to walls, buildings, trucks and more.
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The company began using nanoparticulates in order to maintain the sealant’s consistency. “When you mix a number of chemicals together they tend to separate,” Azevedo said. “You want to keep them in suspension so that your first squirt is as powerful as your last squirt.”

Graffiti Armor is sold online and through a network of independent applicators and distributors. Azevedo said the company is currently selling mostly to municipalities and government agencies but that it is now seeing an uptick in interest from universities. “Whenever they have a home game, the opposing team tries to paint their mascot.”

If SealGuard can solve that problem, it is poised to really, well, make its mark.
- David Forman