Scientists at the United Arab Emirates’ Masdar Institute have developed a reflective paint that cools so much that you can walk on a roof painted with it on a hot summer day in bare feet, reports The National.
The paint can trim roof temperatures by as much as 20 percent according to developers Watergy International Group. Researchers are hoping the product will be used throughout the UAE believing it could significantly reduce the financial and environmental costs of running air-conditioning units, the web site reports.
A 197-square-meter test area was installed on the roof of the Masdar Institute’s test station. A third of the roof was painted in the new pain, a third was painted white and a third was left uncoated. The unpainted area’s temperature was measured at 9.30 am on a warm Abu Dhabi morning at 46.6 degrees C (115.9 F). The area treated with the reflective paint measured 24.9 degrees C.
The secret to the cooling lies in titanium dioxide, a chemical used in sunscreen for it s high reflectance. The paint costs as much as “any other good-quality paint” according to Wamid Zori, managing director of Watergy, the web site reports.
The increase in sustainability initiatives and focus on energy efficiency across the globe is driving the adoption of energy saving coatings, particularly in the building and construction sectors, which typically account for 40 percent of a nation’s energy consumption, according to research by Frost & Sullivan released earlier this month. To boost the use of these coatings across multiple industries, market participants should revamp their innovation portfolio and customize energy saving coatings to cater to the unique needs of each application segment. The US and the EU are leading the way in this regard, according to the analysis, which is titled Innovations in Energy Savings Coatings.
Energy saving coatings reduce a building’s cooling load, minimize solar gain, extend the life of roofing systems, and can be fine-tuned to emit zero or near zero volatile organic compounds. This, along with the other benefits arising from its anti-corrosion, hydrophobic, anti-radiating, and anti-microbial properties, is spurring the uptake of these solutions globally, according to the report.