‘Vantablack’ the Blackest Black Now Comes in Spray

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(Newswire.net — July 13, 2016) — Black just became blacker as scientists from Surrey Nanosystems in the UK have announced the creation of a super black material.

Absorbing 99.96% of photons, the highest ever recorded, Vantablack is a revolutionary material that can be applied to lightweight, temperature-sensitive structures such as aluminum.

“Vantablack is a major breakthrough by UK industry in the application of nanotechnology to optical instrumentation”, said Ben Jensen, Chief Technology Officer at Surrey NanoSystems.

“For example, it reduces stray-light, improving the ability of sensitive telescopes to see the faintest stars, and allows the use of smaller, lighter sources in space-borne black body calibration systems. Its ultra-low reflectance improves the sensitivity of terrestrial, space and airborne instrumentation”, Jensen explained.

The material was first announced in 2014 with its intended use being coating optical components for space and defense industries.

This however may change since Nanosystems announced last week that they have developed a Vantablack spray.  Although the manufacturer clearly states it is not paint or a pigment, and it cannot be used for art purposes, it appears that one studio was given a chance to explore it.

“Vantablack is generally not suitable for use in art due to the way in which it’s made. Vantablack S-VIS also requires specialist application to achieve its aesthetic effect. In addition, the coating’s performance beyond the visible spectrum results in it being classified as a dual-use material that is subject to UK Export Control”,  the manufacturer stated.

“We have therefore chosen to license Vantablack S-VIS exclusively to Kapoor Studios UK to explore its use in works of art. This exclusive licence limits the coating’s use in the field of art, but does not extend to any other sectors.”

While artists fume about whether scientists should decide what is for use in art and what isn’t, the fact is that Vantablack is impractical for commercial use, due to its cost and difficulty of actually using the material.

According to a Popular Science article on Vantablack, scientists spent 400 hours coating a body spray can with Vantablack.

Although way too expensive, the spray version of Vantablack, known as Vantablack S-VIS, is a major breakthrough which could steer this technology towards commercial use. However, for the time being, it is meant for science us only, so if you need an item to be painted in the blackest possible black, the only way you do it is to send it to Nanosystems and let the scientists do the job.