Remember Vantablack? I’m sure you do, it pretty much went viral some years ago. Think about it – a paint capable of absorbing up to 99.9% percent of visible light? It seemed like magic and looking at the objects covered in the paint itself felt like checking out the abyss. Now, the opposite came true – the “whitest white” paint in the world, a sort of “Vantawhite” -, is real.
Researchers from Purdue University created a paint that can reflect 98.1% of sunlight, an achievement that was built upon their October 2020 results. Back then, the solution they came up with was a white paint that could reflect “only” 95.5% of sunlight.
So, you might think the increase isn’t that big, but we’re talking almost complete sunlight reflection here therefore it is quite a feat of science!
What would be the use case for this? While Vantablack was eventually turned into a sprayable paint called Vantablack S-VIS, which is now exclusively owned and used by Anish Kapoor in works of art, Vantawhite could end up in the hands of corporations.
How come? Well, this over-the-top white could be used on buildings that heat up easily to keep cool. As you know, by reflecting sunlight, white repels heat and could be an alternative to installing air conditioners on every floor, in every room. By doing so, it could also reduce energy consumption.
Scientists’ find could, just as well, remain, a quirky paint like nothing more. After all, Vantablack set out a trend with artists going to big lengths to create color extremes – like the “pinkest pink” paint ever. One that you can also buy, by the way.