Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Reflective nanotech tiles save energy

Scientists know that nanotechnology can be used to improve the reflectiveness of building surfaces, which decreases energy costs. This knowledge has recently been applied in nanotechnology-enhanced paints and coatings for tiles.
Reflective nanotech tiles save energy
Newly discovered nanocrystalline materials are extremely reflective, particularly in the heat-emitting, near-infrared (NIR) spectrum. Their incorporation into building surfaces could reduce the amount of energy needed to cool buildings.

The EU-funded COOL-COVERINGS project aimed to develop a range of non-white reflective surfaces that could be easily and quickly brought to market. Specifically, the project produced a tile, a range of paints and a bitumen coating for roofs.

Project members started by investigating the market and industry for reflective coatings in order to understand the needs to be met. Researchers then evaluated NIR-reflective nanocrystalline materials. Next, the appropriate material was manufactured and incorporated into the normal industrial process for tile and paint production as a 'cool' pigment.

The prototypes were installed in a demonstration building, and showed a 4–7 % decrease in energy use over a 12-month period. The three products are now close to industrial scale-up: the roof membranes and cool paints are about to appear in commercial catalogues, while the production line for the roof tiles needs some fine tuning.

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