Paint it blackest

Two 3D masks, one covered in Vantablack S-VIS
Surrey NanoSystems has released a spray version of the world’s blackest coating material, enabling a range of products to take advantage of Vantablack’s thermal and light absorption characteristics. The substance, Vantablack S-VIS, is said to be easily applied at large scale to virtually any surface.

Vantablack was originally developed for satellite-borne earth observation imaging and calibration systems, where it increases instrument sensitivity by improving absorption of stray ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. Since then, many other applications have emerged, including solar-energy collector elements, functional surfaces in buildings and architecture, cinematographic projectors, high-performance baffles and lenses, and scientific instruments.

"The original Vantablack coating has had a big impact on the market, and is helping many companies to bring out higher-performing equipment," said Ben Jensen of Surrey NanoSystems. "We are continuing to develop the technology, and the new sprayable version really does open up the possibility of applying super-black coatings in many more types of airborne or terrestrial applications."

Vantablack S-VIS’ performance is claimed to outstrip that of any other conventionally-applied coating, typically achieving a reflectance of less than 0.2%. It offers this performance across a range of viewing angles and wavelengths, which is critical for optical instruments, as well as in many aesthetic applications.

Surrey NanoSystems says that Vantablack S-VIS can be applied to most stable surfaces, with the only major constraint being the ability to withstand temperatures of 100°C, making it suitable for many types of engineering-grade polymers and composite materials. The process is said to be scalable and suitable for high-volume production on a range of substrate sizes.

Author
Tom Austin-Morgan

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