Subjective Heat Differentiation

In an early attempt to identify an application for a useful technology such as thermal printing, I began with a poop-emoji sticker. The negative/positive design methodologies immediately apply with respect to considering what will be extracted from the image and what will remain. I opted for the largest print area so as to optimize the thermal feedback.

The range of this idea has expanded significantly however. Arizona has the highest rate of infant death heatsroke rates of any state in the nation(CDC 1999-2003). The severity of temperatures in an enclosed space in the desert are intolerable without hydration and even with hydration, it can become deadly.

A problem currently exists in which heat tolerances and approximations are varied between individuals based on their age, health, demographic/ethnographic make-up as well as many other factors.

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In Arizona, outdoor temperatures can easily rise to 115-120 degrees fahrenheit. Cookies, bacon and other food stuffs have been prepared in jovial news reporting fashion throughout the years. However, the dangers of heat-stroke are very serious.

An enclosed vehicle can reach temperatures of 150 degrees farenheit or more and can increase in temperature more than 40 degrees fahrenheit per hour.

The relationship between temperature and brain activity has been extensively studied using electrophysiology. Animal studies have shown a close relationship between brain temperature and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen. Previous studies in rats and dogs reported that temperature changes of more than 1°C significantly altered both functional neurologic outcome and histopathology.

Although infant deaths by heatstroke are down 18% in 2014 from the national average of 39, the problem is still very real.

Children are often endangered due to a quick parental judgement call of “it will only be a minute’ and/or the adults tolerance to heat may convince them that the temperature is not as severe of a danger as it may be to a child.

Additionally, a child’s body temperature increases at 3-5X the rate of adults.

75% of the temperature rise occurs within five-minutes of closing and leaving the car. I am proposing a quick and immediate visual cue for how dangerous it is to remain in a vehicle without cool air. A simple character based design that changes colors according to a 3-5 temperature range model.

below 60 degrees = white

60-80 degrees = yellow

80-100 degrees = orange

100+ degrees = red

With the consequences being high with regards to the safety of children and pets, a novel solution would entail an identifying reference. The sticker aspect can be played on for children’s approval and reference. Various characters, shapes and designs can be used. Municipalities could incorporate into civil safety and public service initiatives to remind parents of the dangers of heatstroke.

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My applied silkscreen is an experiment in color combinations and variations in concentration for research into the viability of this sticker concept. I created 2 prints, with the same template. Both prints used the same “neon green” ink/paint and the same “vibrant red” heat sensitive powder. Print #1 was printed using a 1/1 ratio of ink to thermal pigment. Print #2 was printed using a 1/.5 ratio.

The results were testing in direct sunshine as the heat radiating through the window gave me a great visual for how much the color was actually changing.

The results were unimpressive for several reasons:

  1. The black paper chosen to print on. I chose this to create a stark contrast base so I could get a better sense of whether the thermal material would likely work when applied to a vinyl sticker.
  2. The screen had a few anomalies. Particularly in the bottom right corner.
  3. My limited skill and experience leads me to believe I should have held the paper down better when lifting the screen as it would remain attached and create a peeling visual effect.

I did learn about the variations in concentration of material as well as vinyl applique use of template for screen printing. Not to mention I now have a new idea for a community outreach project and DIY science application to “improve the human condition”. It would appear as though more experimentation is necessary to identify more controlled temperature ranges and color applications thereof. I would also like to experiment with applying this to the surface of a vinyl sticker although I have a sense it will crumble and/or peel off in the extreme heat and sunshine of AZ.

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