Black 3.0 - Upgrade to super-matte Black 2.0 paint; 98-99% light absorption
12 replies, posted
If you've ever heard of Vantablack, that carbon nanotube material that absorbs nearly all light that hits it (99.6% on all three spectrums - infrared, visible, and UV) and basically just looks like someone used a digital fill on real life, you might have wanted to get your hands on it. Unfortunately, it's not available for general use, for a couple of reasons. First off is that the classic version needs to be "grown" onto the material it coats in a lab environment, and even the slightly less efficient spray-on "S-VIS" version has to be applied in a booth by professionals; since it's nanotube-based, either version is hazardous to human exposure. On top of that, it's colossally expensive and most damningly of all, any rights to artistic use of the material has been snatched up exclusively by a wealthy artist by the name of Anish Kapoor.
That last bit pissed a lot of other artists off, including one guy by the name of Stuart Semple. Long story short, Semple's been formulating his own pigments for over two decades and tried to make his own black paint for public use (both in legal terms and without using hazardous nanotubes) that came close to Vantablack's level of darkness. The original 1.0 revision of "Stuart Semple's Black" was a powder-based pigment that you had to mix yourself, but after getting some feedback from other artists about what chemicals and formula to use, he came out with a more traditional paint for Black 2.0, which has become really popular. And to his credit, it works pretty damn well; absorbing 96% of visible light and even seeing use by some scientists as a way more economical alternative to Vantablack, but he always wanted to do better.
So here's Black 3.0. Made by again collaborating with other artists and even some scientists, the formula's already complete and even uses some advanced nanotechnology itself - no nanotubes; it's still completely safe and even non-toxic - and promises 98-99% visible light absorption., all while being more durable than Black 2.0, immune to fading or discoloration, able to stick on pretty much surface, applicable by brush/roller or spray, needing no more prep than any other paint, and even thinnable with plain water. This is a Kickstarter to fund their minimum order from the factory producing it and cover distribution costs, and their goal's already been met by nearly 1700%, but I still find it fascinating regardless and so wanted to share it, especially since there's still nine days left as of this writing if you wanted to contribute.
They even made it smell like coffee.
Me and my girlfriend were just talking about painting my room with something completely light absorbing, she said I'd have to make everything out of Vantablack. What are the odds of this showing up days after we were talking about it?
Not really something I'm into, but my brother's wife is an artist, so I ordered some for her.
Should be a nice birthday surprise for her.
Vantablack absorbs 99.96% of light, not 99.6% as stated in the OP. This means the difference between Black 3.0 and Vantablack is actually quite significant.
If we consider reflectance instead of absorption, it's a bit easier to understand how big the difference actually is:
Black polyethylene plastic reflects about 8% of light.
Black 3.0 reflects anywhere between 1% to 2% of light.
This means that Black 3.0 is between 4 and 8 times darker than black polyethylene plastic - Though, that's in linear scale.
If we consider a logarithmic scale like photographic stops (one stop decrease = half the light), it's 2 to 3 stops darker.
Vantablack reflects 0.04% of light
This means that Vantablack is anywhere between 25 to 50 times darker than Black 3.0 - A huge difference!
In photographic stops, it's between 4.5 to 5.5 stops darker.
Here's a simple linear graph I made as a visual example.
It includes some other black materials I could find reflectance numbers of.
In short: to say Black 3.0 is approaching Vantablack itself is pretty generous, as it's a huge leap to get there.
Side by side, you'd be able to tell them apart instantly.
But I for sure support this dude, and I think it's a shitty move from Vantablacks' side to make a deal like that to some scumbag rich guy.
The amount of money pledged is ULTRA over their request, and for a good reason, who wouldn't want to try the blackest paint in existence?
It's still by far the blackest paint we can buy, so I'm sold on it.
Whoop, that was merely a typo. Sorry about that.
It's always nice when some rich arsehole wants to spoil things for everyone.
I haven't got a use for this sort of thing in my life but I hope they can get it done, if anything just as a middle finger to that prick.
Blacker than the blackest black?
I'm interested in the scientific uses, personally. While it's not quite as good as Vantablack, not having to go through all the legal hoops and spending an exorbitant amount of money when $40 can get you a couple bottles of this stuff is gonna be a huge boon to aspiring scientists and smaller institutions. I've read stories about some people who've already been coating the insides of their telescopes and other optical gear with the older 2.0 formula to pretty great results, and this is a massive upgrade in visible light absorption.
I got two bottles of black 2.0.
It's a very matte black but don't expect anything like those "literally reflects no light" black.
I do wonder how effective the inner lens wall coatings used by large optical companies is.
Like, surely some of them must've figured out a really good material? Guess I have something to read up on now.
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