There have been significant changes since humans first made and used paint, thousands of years ago – and we’re not just talking about new color trends from year to year. According to the BBC, because ancient paints were made from rock, earth, bone and charcoal, the colors were limited to yellow, red, white and black. Since having colorful surroundings was not a life-sustaining activity few people had the luxury of having painted homes. In fact, some people disapproved of the act with the view that having a colorful home was a sign of vanity.
Move forward to 1866 when Sherwin-Williams invented a paint that could be used from the tin without preparation and, as they say, the rest is history.
But today’s paints have a much greater role than providing color or determining a family’s economic status. Breakthroughs in paint technology are enabling increased safety, reduced energy consumption, sustainability and other benefits that have evolved over time.
What are some of the new developments in paint technology that we can expect to see in 2019 that will continue to expand its role? Consider the following:
- Paint will provide energy savings.
With LEED certification becoming more important, facilities are looking to reduce energy costs, to make buildings cooler, and save on air conditioning. Look for demand for roof coatings that repel heat-causing IR radiation, especially in hot climates. Using heat-repelling coatings can notably reduce cooling costs. Expect early adopters to be hospitals, other medical facilities, schools, and single-story warehouses.
- Heat Island Index may become a phrase TV meteorologist will use.
Just as meteorologists refer to the wind chill factor in the winter, meteorologists may start discussing the heat island index, which the California EPA says is caused by “a combination of heat-absorptive surfaces (such as dark pavement and roofing), heat-generating activities (such as engines and generators) and the absence of vegetation (which provides evaporative cooling).” According to the CalEPA, “large urbanized areas can experience higher temperatures, greater pollution and more negative health impacts during hot summer months when compared to more rural communities.” Heat islands are especially dangerous during heat waves. Given the record surge in the average annual temperatures, municipalities, highway and roads departments, and buildings owners and managers are looking for solutions to reduce heat islands, which can be provided from cool paint that reflects the heat from buildings or roads, and therefore surrounding environments.
- Light pollution is becoming more of a problem but not necessarily directly from electrical lights.
Looking to reduce the amount of heat resulting from the sun beating down on black tar or vulcanized rubber roofs, some building managers have tried painting their roofs white (since the color white repels heat and the color black typically absorbs heat). The problem is that white roofs and white roads can cause light pollution, since light, including sunlight, reflects off of the white surface. This is a significant problem such that white roofs and white roads can’t be placed near many airports. Look for heat-repelling roof coatings, beginning in 2019, to come in colors other than white to reduce light pollution while keeping buildings coolers and less reliant on air conditioning.
Paint technology has certainly evolved over the years and will continue to serve far greater roles than simple aesthetics. Greater awareness of the sustainability and environmental benefits of paint are inspiring a new generation of innovation and possibilities that are continuing to be imagined.
If you have any questions about these predictions, and want to learn more about what Nygra Coatings is doing, please contact us here.