Skip to Content

The Smell of Trouble

Industrial tools must be monitored daily for wear and tear-a labor-intensive process that sacrifices production time. A new surface coating developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films, in Brunswick, Germany, promises a more efficient way to smell trouble.

The coating, embedded with fragrance-filled microcapsules, is applied to tools and machinery. As a protective top layer wears thin, the capsules are broken and the fragrance is released. For household tools, any concentrated fragrances, such as perfumes, can be used and detected by the human nose. For industrial machinery, other indicators, such as gases, can be encapsulated. When released, they can be detected by a sensor that triggers an alarm. The researchers aim to have the coatings commercially available in Europe within about a year.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy?

There’s a robust molecular language being spoken between your muscles and your brain.

The 1,000 Chinese SpaceX engineers who never existed

LinkedIn users are being scammed of millions of dollars by fake connections posing as graduates of prestigious universities and employees at top tech companies.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.