The new Whitest Paint has given the white paint which can reflect 98.1% of all light that hits it, remaining cooler than the ambient temperature, even when sitting in full sunlight. This can help in tackling the climate crisis.
The researchers said the paint could be on the market in one or two years. Whitest Paint roofs are used to cool buildings for centuries. As global heating pushes temperatures up, the technique is also being used on modern city buildings, such as in Ahmedabad in India and New York City in the US.Available reflective Whitest Paint are better than dark roofing materials; they only reflect 80-90% of sunlight and absorb UV light. These paints cannot cool surfaces below ambient temperatures. The new paint does this, leading to less need for air conditioning and the carbon emissions they produce, which are rising rapidly.
The team’s work builds on paint they developed last year, which reached a then-record-breaking reflection rate of 95.5 percent. The new formula, the team said, brings it much closer to being a true counterpart to Vantablack, the black pigment that absorbs up to 99.965 percent of visible light.
Vantablack has its applications, but engineers and materials scientists have been chasing ultra-reflective Whitest Paint for a while, for its potential cooling abilities. Reflective cooling paints are already commercially available, like titanium dioxide paint, but they are unable to achieve temperatures cooler than their surroundings. The researchers looked for highly reflective white materials to manufacture this paint. The previous paint was made of calcium carbonate particles which is the chemical compound found in chalk, limestone and marble which are suspended in an acrylic paint medium.