Buildings in hot climates are traditionally painted white because it effectively reflects the sun's rays. A team of scientists from the University of California reports a major breakthrough - they managed to create a super white paint that reflects almost all the light falling on it.
The cooling power of white paint has been around for a long time. A 2012 NASA study, for example, claims that a white coating can reduce the peak temperature of New York City rooftops by as much as 24 ° C. The best paint on the market currently reflects about 85% of the sunlight and absorbs the rest. A team from California has managed to improve this figure by making a couple of technological changes to the recipe.
Titanium oxide is a key component of modern reflective paints. It effectively reflects most of the visible and near-infrared light, but absorbs violet and ultraviolet light. In the course of experiments, scientists found a good replacement for it - barite pigment from the artists' arsenal and Teflon.
Changes to the formulation have raised the paint's light reflectance to a record 98% - dramatically reducing building cooling costs. Moreover, the production of new paint can be established on the equipment already at the disposal of manufacturers.
The research materials were published in the journal Joule.