Scientists at Purdue University have developed a new ‘Super-White’ paint that will reflect 95.5% of light off buildings. The researchers have claimed that this paint will help in keeping buildings cooler naturally. This will mean lesser use of air-conditioning and different cooling technologies. Thus, helping in lessening climate change caused by these technologies.
What is Super White Paint?
This new paint is developed by Xiulin Ruan, a Mechanical Engineering professor, and his colleagues at Purdue University. Ruan has said that their paint is compatible with the commercial paint’s manufacturing process and will also be comparatively cheaper. He has also stated that the paint will have many useful applications. The acrylic lacks metallic components. This will help in preventing the overheating of outdoor machinery.
The researchers conducted tests in West Lafayette, Indiana over two days. This new acrylic paint stays 10 degrees C below the surrounding temperatures during nights and at least 1.7 degrees lower with the sun at its apex. This is better than other heat-rejecting paints which reflect about 80 to 90 percent of heat compared to the 95.5 percent light reflected by this new Super-White Paint. The paint was also tested along with commercial paint of the same thickness. An infrared camera used during the test revealed that the novel paint was able to maintain a cooler temperature than its commercial counterpart.
Ruan and his colleagues used calcium-carbonate fillers instead of the standard titanium dioxide particles. Calcium-carbonate fillers decrease the paint’s absorption of ultraviolet rays.
According to their research published in the Cell Reports Physical Science, the calcium-carbonate based acrylic outperformed other commercial paints. It demonstrates better radiative cooling and it’s cheaper and easier to manufacture for commercial uses.
The Super-White paint is also said to brush on and dries in the same way as their commercial counterparts. It is also abrasion-resistant, can withstand outdoor weathering for at least three weeks, and is waterproof. Although more tests are still underway. Scientists are testing the paint against ultraviolet light exposure, dust, surface adhesion, water, and detergent to make it viable as a commercial product.
Is the paint environment-friendly?
Regions with warm climates usually rely on conventional air-conditioning units to keep their buildings or offices cool. These systems transfer heat to the outdoors and require a huge amount of power. These systems emit a great amount of heat leading to excess emission of CO2 gas. This contributes to the global climate crisis that is looming over the world. Previously developed light reflecting paints were not so successful in replacing AC.
“It is a persistent task to develop a below-ambient radiative cooling solution that offers a convenient single-layer particle-matrix paint form and high reliability,” says Xiulin Ruan, “This is critical to the wide application of radiative cooling and to alleviate the global warming effect.”
This Super-White paint will try to replace AC units over the world leading towards the earth’s battle against climate change.