CaCO3– Acrylic paint was made in a science lab facing the sun. They developed this coolant paint for a variety of purposes including (but not limited to) coating telecommunications equipment to prevent overheating.
ABOVE: Purdue researchers Xiulin Ruan (left) and Joseph Peoples use an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples on a roof. (Purdue University Photo / Jared Pike)
Xiulin Ruan, professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University in Indiana, is one of the authors of the study that developed this new cooling white. Ruan suggested the white color mix could benefit a number of industries and products including, but not limited to:
• Data center
• Electrical outdoor units
• Military infrastructure
• Essence storage
• Warehouses of all kinds
• Commercial buildings
• Telecommunication devices (such as 5G towers)
“This paint can even be used to combat climate change as it repels sunlight and emits heat into space,” Ruan said in an interview with Science Daily.
This color was designed from the start with ease of use in mind. Unlike Vantablack, which is technically inaccessible to the public and requires a special process of “painting”, this cooling white paint is easy to make and use. “Our paint is compatible with the manufacturing process for commercial paints,” said Ruan, “and the costs can be comparable or even lower.”
“It is a persistent task to develop a radiant sub-environment cooling solution that has a convenient single-layer particle matrix paint form and high reliability,” said Ruan. “This is crucial for the widespread use of radiation cooling and to mitigate the global warming effect.”
The original study was published in Cell Reports Physical Science, entitled Full Daytime Sub-Ambient Radiative Cooling in High Merit Commercial Colors. This study was authored by Xiangyu Li, Joseph Peoples, Zhifeng Huang, Zixuan Zhao, Jun Qiu, and Xiulin Ruan. The paper was an open access publication that was published on October 21, 2020 with the code DOI: 10.1016 / j.xcrp.2020.100221.
The work on developing the cooling white in the above study was supported by two organizations. Air Force Office of Scientific Research through Defense University’s Research Instrumentation Program and Purdue University’s Cooling Technologies Research Center.
Surrey NanoSystems developed the material mix / material process Vantablack back in 2014. This material is made with vertically aligned nanotube arrays that are applied (or “grown”) to a target surface using a chemical vapor deposition process. In 2016, they revealed an even blacker black called Vantablack 2, which they thought was blacker. They claimed the black was so black, the amount of light reflected could not be determined, it was so insignificant.
You have made an exclusive agreement with artist Anish Kapoor to use the material in his art. The exclusive right to use Vantablack in art applications is limited to this area. Surrey NanoSystems worked with various organizations to use Vantablack for products (like watches) and promotions (like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4).
Since their contract with Kapoor, artists and designers have made an exception to the idea that the blackest black may only be available to ONE artist in the whole world. One such artist, Stuart Semple (and his collaborators) made a point of creating black paint (not the blackest black, but very, very black) available to everyone in the world except Anish Kapoor.
Now we wait and see if the cooling white, the whitest white, becomes available to the masses. We will see!
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