Following the ultra-black material Vantablack, which absorbs 99.96% of the incident light, scientists have developed its ultra-white counterpart. The honor of opening a new milestone in materials science belongs to American engineers from Purdue University. They have not yet come up with a commercial name for this substance, but they guarantee that it reflects 95.5% of the light incident on it.
If Vantablack was created mainly for a scientific, experimental purpose, then the super-white material is a vital product. In essence, it is paint and it can be produced on standard equipment. Here are just the existing white paints, which were specially created for maximum protection from sunlight, the reflection coefficient does not exceed 80-90%. This is not bad, but such values do not allow fulfilling a critical condition - the coating must keep the temperature lower than that of the environment.
The development of ultra-white paint began back in the 70s. last century, when engineers calculated that the massive use of air conditioners that consume energy for work does not solve the problem of cooling buildings. On the contrary, densely built cities are turning into giant heat islands. You need a passive cooling system, and the new paint provides it. The coating remains 10 ℃ colder than the environment at night and 1.7 colder during the day, at the peak of sunlight at noon.
The secret of this paint is that the calcium carbonate filler was not filtered by the size of the granules, but instead many particles of all sizes were poured into it to ensure scattering along all wavelengths of the solar spectrum. In theory, this even promises to simplify and reduce the cost of the production process. Scientists are now looking for alternative fillers that are more weather resistant so that the coating does not lose its properties over time.