Vantablack Light-Absorbing Paint Meets BMW X6

December 23, 2019 at 11:12 AM
Vantablack Light-Absorbing Paint Meets BMW X6
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BMW is the first manufacturer to produce a Vantablack car, painted with a light-absorbing paint in the blackest black. But where does this ultimate black come from? And what makes it so special?

 
 

Hussein Al Attar, the designer responsible for the new BMW X6, calls his work “The Beast”. This internal nickname for the Vantablack car is particularly apt, because black doesn’t come blacker than Vantablack.

 
 

Vantablack is not actually a color pigment or a paint, but a coating of carbon nanotubes. These have the property of absorbing incident light almost completely. Against a deep black background, objects coated in Vantablack material seem to disappear, as the perception of spatial depth is lost. This is because the human eye perceives shapes coated in Vantablack to be two-dimensional.

 
 

The BMW X6 show car has been coated with the Vantablack variant VBx2, which was originally developed for the fields of architecture and science. This Vantablack variant has a total hemispherical reflectance (THR) of one percent and is therefore still considered “superblack”, but it provides at least a little surface reflection from every angle. The great advantage of the VBx2 material is that it can be sprayed on.

 
 

Vantablack is a material made from carbon nanotubes that reflects virtually no light. It is considered the blackest black in existence. The rights lie with Surrey NanoSystems, which developed the substance for space and metrology applications. Vanta stands for vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays.

 

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