Thanks to this ‘whitest white paint’, cars stay cool

July 24, 2023

The whitest paint ever

Some bright minds at American Purdue University have developed a white paint that can reflect as much as 98.1 percent of all solar radiation. The recipe? The paint is full of tiny barium sulfate particles. No, that doesn’t tell us much either. But the results are promising. This special white paint has the potential to keep cars cooler than ever before.


To test the effectiveness of this cool white paint, the researchers conducted a number of tests. They placed a sheet of plain white paint and a sheet of the new cooling white paint on a concrete surface in the middle of the sun. The result was remarkable. The plate with the cooling white paint was as much as 13 degrees Celsius cooler than the plate with normal paint.  


Applied to a car, the cooling paint not only provides a more comfortable experience for the occupants, but can also have a beneficial effect on both fuel economy and car life. When cars get less hot, drivers are less likely to turn on the air conditioning, resulting in fuel savings. In addition, the lower temperatures can help reduce wear on key components, which can extend the life of cars.

Planes and missiles

The driving force behind this project, Professor Xiulin Ruan, is far from finished with his research. He is currently working on developing different colors with similar reflective properties. His hope? Attract the attention of the automotive and other industries that could benefit from the use of this technology, such as the aircraft and missile industries.

Photos: Purdue University image/Joseph Peoples, Purdue University photo/John Underwood and Purdue University photo/Jared Pike.