Washington, June 3 - A new pigment, known as 'cool blue,' could repel heat in buildings and cut energy costs, a boon in warmer climes, says a study.
Oregon State University scientists stumbled on 'cool blue' almost three years ago while researching some materials for their electrical properties. The compound has now been cleared for a patent.
The compound can potentially help reduce heat absorption on the roofs and walls of buildings, especially in warmer regions where cooling is cost intensive. The material is now being considered for commercial applications, said a university statement.
"This pigment has infrared heat reflectivity of about 40 percent, which is significantly higher than most blue pigments now being used," said Mas Subramanian, professor of chemistry at Oregon, who discovered the compound.
"We already knew it had advantages of being more durable, safe and fairly easy to produce. Now it also appears to be a new candidate for energy efficiency," said Subramanian.
"Cool roofing," in which paints are used to reflect significant portions of the sun's heat and thereby reduce cooling costs, is an important new trend in "green" construction and energy efficiency, experts say.
"We're seeking licensing partners for this invention right now," said Mary Phillips, associate director of the Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development at Oregon.
"We believe it can contribute to new energy efficiency solutions around the world," said Phillips.