Scientists have invented a new ultra-white paint that is said to be able to reflect 95.5 percent of the sunlight that reaches its surface. This unimaginable characteristic allows an object coated in this paint, like a building, to cool underneath the temperatures of its surroundings even under intense sunlight. An unbelievable scientific achievement that could go towards combating environmental changes.
The scientific research discovered by a team at Purdue University was published in the Cell Reports Physical Science journal. The team of scientists experimented with the paint over the course of two days. They found that when the Sun was at its highest point in the sky, the surface covered in the new paint was at least 1.7°C (3.06°F) below that of objects surrounding it. They also noted that at night it remained 10°C (18°F) below the temperatures.
“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,” senior author Professor Xiulin Ruan, from Purdue University, said in a statement. “This is critical to the wide application of radiative cooling and to alleviate the global warming effect.”
The ability to cool down objects and buildings is definitely exciting and advantageous to combat the ongoing effects of global warming. It’s worth noting that this wouldn’t only affect a building’s outside. A building covered in this paint would also alter the temperature indoors, reducing the amount of air conditioning needed, which would lead to cheaper bills.
This is positive not just for residential and commercial buildings to keep their temperatures colder but it could help warehouses where perishable products are kept and conserve their goods as well.
The paint is made out of acrylic with a calcium carbonate component. While it lacks a metallic component which allows the paint to also be used on telecommunication devices that are kept outdoors, which would help to keep the equipment cool without interfering with any signals.
“Our paint is compatible with the manufacturing process of commercial paint, and the cost may be comparable or even lower,” said Ruan. “The key is to ensure the reliability of the paint so that it is viable in long-term outdoor applications.”
The work was supported by the Cooling Technologies Research Center at Purdue University and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program.
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