White supremacy, of the coolest kind: Unveiling the heat-radiating LWD

This is white supremacy none of us should have a problem with. A research team led by Prof Xiulin Ruan of Purdue University in the US is painting the town white — literally — with the whitest shade of white ever produced.

So? So, this new suprawhite reflects 98% of sunlight and is able to radiate infrared heat into space through the atmosphere. And so? And so, Xiulin’s white paint can cool surfaces by 4.5°C even in strong sunlight. Painting houses white has been a traditional cooling method.

In 2017, more than 3,000 rooftops in Ahmedabad were painted white using chuna (white lime) and a special reflective coating. Another kind of ‘cool roofing’ has been initiated in Hyderabad with the help of a cool roof-coating membrane that brings down indoor air temperatures by an average of 2°C. How cool is that?

But the latest Agent White is the coolest. Made of barium sulphate, the pigment doesn’t absorb ultraviolet light. Painting a 1,000 sq ft roof gives a cooling power of 10 KW, more powerful than the central air conditioners used by most houses.

To supplement all this safedi, we should also embrace white in our clothes. Not just in our kurtas and saris — disconnecting them from signs of widowhood or renunciation — but also in our haute, sorry, cool couture. Enough of the heat-absorbing LBD. It’s time to unveil the heat-radiating LWD.


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