Paint innovation could allow grey nomads to have caravans any colour they like!

Published: November 10, 2023

While there are some exceptions out there on the highways and byways, the vast majority of caravans and motorhomes are as white as the driven snow.

The reason, of course, is a very practical one.

White reflects the heat, and helps to keep temperatures inside the van down. But what if advancing technology liberated grey nomads from this commonsense dictated colour straitjacket?

How much more interesting and fun would it be to see vans that were green and purple and black and blue and red, and just about every other shade under the sun?

Well, the wait could soon be over for travellers who have been champing at the bit to unleash their creative flair on the van’s exterior.

Scientists at Stanford University have just invented a new kind of paint that reduces the energy needed for cooling by almost 21% in artificial warm conditions … and it can be just about any colour!

The academics say that current low-emissivity paints usually have a metallic silver or grey colour, the aesthetics of which limit their use.

The newly invented paints, however, have two layers applied separately: an infrared reflective bottom layer using aluminium flakes; and an ultrathin, infrared transparent upper layer using inorganic nanoparticles that comes in a wide range of colours.

For keeping heat out, the paint can be applied to exterior walls and roofs. Most of this infrared light passes through the colour layer of the new paints, reflects off the lower layer, and passes back out as light, not being absorbed by the materials as heat.

Specifically, up to about 80% of high mid-infrared light is reflected by the paints. The infrared spectrum of sunlight causes 49% of natural heating of the planet when it is absorbed by surfaces.

The research team tested their paints in white, blue, red, yellow, green, orange, purple, and dark grey. The researchers found they were 10 times better than conventional paints in the same colours at reflecting high mid-infrared light.

The scientists found the paints could be used on everything from buildings to vehicles to help keep things naturally cool.

  • If you were freed from the white-is-best straitjacket, what colour would you like to paint your van? Comment below.

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White every time!

A bit like the old advertisement for Dawn toilet paper: ”Pink & Blue, Primrose too” will go faster..!!


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