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The World’s Blackest Car Paint – Vantablack

The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack

We’ve seen black cars before, but none of them are as dark and mysterious as the Vantablack. It’s not just a surface that absorbs light – it actually pulls in all but 0.035% of visible light! Can you paint your car with vantablack paint?

The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack
Vantablck painted Ferrari ©Image: Varryx/YouTube

What Is Vantablack?

Vantablack is the blackest black material, with the highest light absorption of any known material. It is made from carbon nanotubes and was created by Surrey Nanosystems in 2014. Vantablack has many applications as it can be used for space ships as well as military uses where people want to hide or their objects to disappear.

Can You Paint A Car With Vantablack?

The first car to paint using Vantablack is the BMW X6. It was designed with the developer of the Vantablack paint, Surrey NanoSystems.

The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack
BMW VBX6 ©Image: BMW

But this paint is not usable as a regular paint and it’s so expensive.

The classic vantablack is not a viable paint for a car. I have looked into this a fair bit.

Vantablack is a true black hue that is produced through an electrophoresis chemical vapor technique, in which carbon nano-tubes are deposited along the surface to which it is applied. Just applying it takes some training and careful execution.The adhesion to the surface is not robust, and the structure bends easily. There is no resin or coating that can keep the structure and light absorption.

The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack
Carbon nanotubes. ©Image: techspot

Vantablack is a black paint that may be applied to your car. However, it will only look good if the vehicle is kept inside, doesn’t come into contact with anything, and is dust-free.

There are some coatings that have a light-blocking percentage of more than 95%, which is stronger and less prone to wear. The expense, on the other hand, would be approximately 50k if you wanted to achieve anything close to desired effects without bodywork.

VBx2 is a relatively durable paint for any vehicle. It’s quite difficult to do VBx2 “correctly,” but it’s nevertheless the finest “paint” option for automobiles. It, however, isn’t nearly as long-lasting as most automobile paints.

The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack
©Image: BMW

The best way to get a long-lasting black finish is to apply a matte black wrap, then a clear matte tint wrap over that, and finally a matte polymer finish. That gets you deeper and blacker than matte paint or clear, which is more durable and will most likely cost less than 20k.

The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack
©Image: BMW

What Are The Properties Of Vantablack?

Vantablack is a type of carbon nanotube coating that was created by Surrey NanoSystems in the United Kingdom. It is one of the darkest materials known, absorbing up to 99.96% of ultraviolet, visible and infrared light, with a total hemispherical reflectance of only 0.20%.

Almost all light beam, including this laser, is absorbed by vantablck. ©VIDEO: Gfycat

In 2014 it was announced as the World’s Darkest material to date. It is composed of a forest of vertical tubes which are “grown” on the substrate and chemically treated so that they become closed structures resembling arrays of six sided cylinders with their vertices capped by half spheres.

They are grown on a substrate like a random number of six sided cones. It is not a paint or pigment, but a coating that can be applied to other materials.

The original Vantablack coating was based around carbon nanotubes measuring about 14nm in width. The tubes are grown on the substrate by using a catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process, where hydrocarbons react at high temperatures to produce single-walled carbon nanotubes that link end-to-end like ropes or strings.

Vantablack And Its Uses

Since its invention in 2014, Vantablack has been a highly desired product for many companies. The most common use of the pigment is to coat cameras and other optical instruments because it absorbs 99% of the light that hits the surface. This makes any imperfections invisible from far away making optical lenses much more clear. Additionally, this material can also be used for artistic purposes.

Vantablack has many industrial and scientific uses such as making solar panels more efficient by reducing the amount of light they reflect back into space or increasing spectral absorption of photovoltaic cells in energy harvesting devices.

Vantablack was originally designed for satellite-borne earth observation equipment and high performance solar cells. It has also been used to reduce stray light in the Hubble telescope, as well as for aerospace applications where it can help keep sensitive optics free from stray reflections which could interfere with spectroscopy experiments being conducted on board spacecraft.

The pigment is so dark that the human eye can’t even distinguish a physical form in its shape, allowing artists to paint incredible shapes and patterns onto surfaces without them appearing flat.

The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack
©Image: Surrey Nanosystems
The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack
©Image: Surrey Nanosystems

Another application of Vantablack is for military purposes. For example, it could be used to coat the insides of telescopes on space-based instruments or helicopter blades so that they do not reflect any light and can’t be seen by spy satellites. This makes stealth flight much more achievable since enemy radar would only see what appears as a black void in the sky.

The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack
A piece of aluminum foil with a Vantablck coating. ©Image: Surrey NanoSystems

Vantablack can also be used to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of cameras and medical tools by coating imaging devices in it. For example, it could make MRI machines more precise or even help doctors see cancerous cells on a microscope slide. Additionally, this material has various other uses like making touch screens work better in sunlight and making tiny wires for electronics much more efficient.

Overall, Vantablack can be used in a variety of ways including artistic purposes like painting an entire canvas black to make the shapes pop out; coating photographic lenses and space telescopes to make them clearer; military uses such as stealth aircraft or helicopter blades that cannot be spotted by the enemy.

Why Is Vantablack So Expensive?

Vantablack S base price for a coating of 100cm squared can cost thousands of dollars. The reason the paint is so expensive relates to how it’s manufactured and why this high cost cannot be reduced by increasing quantities, as explained here:

The World's Blackest Car Paint - Vantablack
©Image: BMW

The price of Vantablack is a direct result of the research and development costs that have been invested in refining the production process. The high cost cannot be reduced by increasing quantities, because at present it takes around 100 hours to grow a layer one centimeter thick on a substrate. This means there is no possibility for batch manufacture at present.

The high cost of Vantablack can be attributed to the fact it’s grown on substrates like aluminum foil, which is very thin and therefore requires time for each layer applied.

Is Vantablack Illegal?

Vantablack is not illegal to use. However, painting your car with Vantablack S-VIS, the sprayable paint that employs randomly aligned carbon nanotubes and has high absorption in the visible light range, will cost around $300,000. This blackest black is exclusively owned by Anish Kapoor’s studio for artistic use.

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