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C. A New Sealing System Gets Around Obstacles

Narrator: This is Science Today. A new aerosol sealing system developed to fix leaky air ducts, has been found to save both energy and labor costs. Mark Modera, a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says the system seals ducts from the inside.

Modera: The idea behind getting to the leaks from inside the duct system was that we'd had field studies where we've found that most of the cost, maybe 80% of the cost of sealing the ducts would be the labor associated with trying to find the leaks, get to the leaks and seal them.

Narrator: There've been similar ideas in other fields - such as inserting robots through gas lines to tape up leaks. The problem was, they literally ran into obstacles.

Modera: Every time there's a Y or a T or any sort of intersections, it has troubles or even bends for that's not very good with bends. So then, we came up with the idea - well, if we could get particles to travel around those bends and go to the leaks, that would be best.

Narrator: The particles Modera uses are made of vinyl acetate. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.