Vantablack – Now in Spray Format

2016-04-01

You can tell science is going on because she’s wearing goggles (Source: Surrey NanoSystems)

PAINT IT BLACK

UK-based Surrey NanoSystems recently announced that its Vantablack® now comes in spray format.  Vantablack, the world-record holder as the darkest man-made material, reflects only 0.036% of the light that strikes it.  This is done by using a series of carbon nanotubes (CNT) aligned in such a way that photons hitting the material will be bounced around between the tubes until they are absorbed and become heat.

Vantablack S-VIS, the spray version, can be applied to larger, more complex shapes.  What this means is that an object with many jagged edges which your eyes would normally be able to discern would now be perceived as a two-dimensional black hole.

While normal black materials which absorb light would reduce its signature in the visible spectrum but appear to be a lighthouse beacon in the infrared spectrum, Vantablack manages to also lower its reflectance to near-imperceptible levels there as well.

A graph makes this article authoritative (Source: Surrey NanoSystems)

A graph makes this article authoritative (Source: Surrey NanoSystems)

Originally developed for satellite-borne earth observation imaging and calibration systems, there are many other uses for Vantablack and Vantablack S-VIS, ranging from solar-energy collector elements and scientific instruments to luxury goods and jewelry.

It also sounds like a great way to not be found, doesn’t it?

Who might possibly want to hide what they have?  (Source: University of Barcelona)

Who might possibly want to hide what they have?  (Source: University of Barcelona)

CAN I USE IT ON MY CAR?

How many millions of dollars do you have?

WHAT ABOUT MY OFFICER-FIT SPACESHIPS?

Vantablack would be loved by all the ship-spinners out there. Due to the delicate nature of the material, however, it would be quite impractical for use on any EVE combat ships. Any abrasions would quickly nullify its usefulness.  Travelceptors would benefit quite nicely, though.  The coating is actually over 99% empty space, incredibly lightweight, and only a few microns thick.

In the real world, Vantablack becomes far more useful.  Since nations are not (supposed) to weaponize space, the risk of satellites coated in Vantablack being subject to abrasion at tens of thousands of kilometers an hour becomes drastically reduced.  Theoretically.

As CNT technologies become more developed, we should see more applications, both commercial and military, appear.  Or not appear.  Surrey has a stranglehold on the market right now and are well-positioned to maintain its lead over all other competitors, especially since the UK government maintains control over end-users through export control regulations.  This is definitely a technology all space-lovers need to keep their eyes on (if they can).  You can see more examples of Vantablack in action here.

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Tess Ashpool.

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