The whitest paint is all set to adorn planes, cars, and trains. Why? The new paint was unveiled in 2021 by researchers at Purdue University. Surfaces like planes, cars, and trains coated in the paint can achieve up to 19F cooler ambient temperatures. Thus, suggesting that it can reduce the need for AC.
As the planet warms up, the innovative paint has the potential to keep spaces and people cool. The researchers refined the paint to a slimmed-down version so the ultra-thin formula is safe for coating vehicles.
The team shared the details of their improved product in a paper published recently in the Cell Reports Physical Science journal. George Chiu, a Purdue University mechanical engineer, stated that lightweight paint opens the doors to all kinds of applications. The Purdue team unveiled the first ultra-white paint that set a Guinness World Record.
Xiulin Ruan, a mechanical engineer at Purdue who helped develop the paint, highlighted its functioning. Ruan stated that the paint did not use any power, and more importantly, it sent the heat to space. Thus, the heat does not stay on the earth, which will help the earth to cool down and also stop the warming trend.
However, the engineers had to paint a layer that was around 400 microns thick to achieve groundbreaking results. With more research, the team got down to using hexagonal boron nitride, a substance used in lubricants. The hexagonal boron nitride is known to scatter sunlight to reflect up to 97.9 percent of the sun’s rays. Plus, it can get applied at a thickness of just 150 microns.
Hence, when the paint is lighter and thinner (it should, in theory,) make it more useful for an array of applications. Ruan highlighted that the team is currently in discussions to commercialise the paint. Ultimately, widespread adoption (should, in theory,) cause the new paint to be a more viable tool for combating climate change in the long run.