You’ve heard of the darkest black paint in existence, get ready for the whitest paint yet! Researchers from Purdue University have created the newest shade to help curb global warming. Hopefully, coating buildings with this paint may cool them off enough to reduce the need for air conditioning. The Brighter Side has more details:
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“If you were to use this paint to cover a roof area of about 1,000 square feet, we estimate that you could get a cooling power of 10 kilowatts. That’s more powerful than the central air conditioners used by most houses,” said Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering.
The researchers believe that this white may be the closest equivalent of the blackest black, “Vantablack,” which absorbs up to 99.9% of visible light. The new whitest paint formulation reflects up to 98.1% of sunlight – compared with the 95.5% of sunlight reflected by the researchers’ previous ultra-white paint – and sends infrared heat away from a surface at the same time.
Typical commercial white paint gets warmer rather than cooler. Paints on the market that are designed to reject heat reflect only 80%-90% of sunlight and can’t make surfaces cooler than their surroundings.
The team’s research paper showing how the paint works publishes Thursday (April 15) as the cover of the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Two features give the paint its extreme whiteness. One is the paint’s very high concentration of a chemical compound called barium sulfate, which is also used to make photo paper and cosmetics white.
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