Purdue University has developed the world’s whitest paint that could make a difference. This special coating, which contains barium sulfate, reflects almost all sunlight (98.1%). It cools surfaces effectively, lowering temperatures by up to 18° F (-7.8° C). It lowers heat absorption, and reduces the need for an air conditioner, which in turn saves energy. By offsetting the greenhouse effect, it actively fights against global warming by redirecting waste heat towards outer space.
White paint can have a cooling effect, which could potentially help save the world if it adopted at a global standard. White paint is not commonly used on houses and buildings. However, you might be interested in using the world’s whitest paint for its “extra features,” rather than just for its appearance.
This ultra-white material has the incredible ability to reflect sunlight and the associated heat, enabling the surface and the entire building to stay naturally cool. It greatly reduces the need for air conditioning and electricity, helping us protect the planet.
Xiulin Ruan, Purdue professor of mechanical engineering said, “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.â€
Researchers believe this shade of white may be the closest alternative to “Vantablack,” the darkest black. This shade has the remarkable ability to absorb up to 99.9% of visible light. The latest formulation of the whitest paint now reflects around 98.1% of sunlight, surpassing the previous ultra-white paint’s reflection of 95.5%. What’s more, this innovative paint also efficiently dissipates infrared heat from surfaces.
Commercial white paint typically heats up instead of cooling down. Yes, this whitest paint could fight against global warming. The current paints available in the market, which claim to repel heat, only reflect approximately 80% to 90% of sunlight. Unfortunately, these paints fall short in their ability to cool surfaces beyond the temperature of their surroundings.
Specifically, when we contemplate the interplay between colors, materials, and the impact they have on the manipulation and reflection of light. The reason why black appears black is that it absorbs light instead of reflecting it back to our eyes. On the other hand, white has the ability to reflect all the colors of the spectrum, which is why it looks so bright. Sunlight not only reflects light but also sends heat back to the atmosphere.
The Purdue University researchers goal was to develop an environmentally-friendly solution to maintain cool surfaces, roofs, and buildings, eliminating the need for electricity or chemical methods. The paint in this case has outstanding sunlight reflection capabilities, with an impressive efficiency.
As a result, it has the remarkable ability to effectively reduce the surface temperature by as much as 18° F (-7.8° C). This means that a building has a lower chance of absorbing heat from sunlight, resulting in significant energy and cost savings by reducing the reliance on cooling systems. In this way, possibly the world’s whitest paint could make a difference.
Not only this paint on Earth is incredibly bright, but it also has an additional effect that could potentially contribute to the salvation of our planet. Yes, researchers say this is white paint that can reduce greenhouse effect. By reflecting the heat generated by the sun, it has the ability to counteract the greenhouse effect, ultimately reducing the rising temperatures on our planet. The best part is that this waste heat doesn’t simply dissipate into the atmosphere. Instead, that heat is expelled beyond the surface of our planet and into the vast expanse of outer space.
What is the reason behind the creation of the whitest shade of paint?
There are 2 features that make the paint extremely white.
- The paint contains an exceptionally high concentration of barium sulfate, a chemical compound renowned for its ability to produce a brilliant whiteness.
- Another notable characteristic of the paint is the varying sizes of the barium sulfate particles.
Barium Sulfate is widely used in the manufacturing of photo paper and cosmetics. The size of its each particle determines how much it scatters light. A wider range of particle sizes in paint enables it to scatter a greater range of light from the sun.
A postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Xiangyu Li said, â€œWe looked at various commercial products, basically anything that’s white. We found that using barium sulfate, you can theoretically make things really, really reflective, which means that they’re really, really white.â€ He worked as a Purdue Ph.D. student in Professor Ruan’s lab on this project.
Joseph Peoples said, â€œA high concentration of particles that are also different sizes gives the paint the broadest spectral scattering, which contributes to the highest reflectance.â€ He is one of the Ph.D. mechanical engineering students at Purdue, involved in the research.
â€œAlthough a higher particle concentration is better for making something white, you can’t increase the concentration too much. The higher the concentration, the easier it is for the paint to break or peel off,â€ postdoctoral researcher Xiangyu Li said.
There is a slight possibility of making the paint whiter, although it is quite limited and might compromise the integrity of the paint. Despite some room for improvement in terms of quality and durability, there is already a significant amount of interest from various manufacturers and industries in this innovative world’s whitest paint that could make a difference.