A team of chemists from Oregon State University accidentally created a new color. And it’s just gorgeous.
Mas Subramanian and his team were experimenting with new materials that could be used in electronics applications and they mixed manganese oxide – which is black in color – with other chemicals and heated them in a furnace to nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. One of their samples turned out to be a vivid blue.
But the interesting thing about this new blue is not actually how vivid and quintessentially “blue” it is. In fact, there are several components to the color that the average person would never even consider. The new color, which was recently licensed as “YInMn” blue, has compounds that are so stable that the color will never fade. This allows it to be applied to several commercial uses, because mixing the pigment in oil or water will not affect it. Even better, the color’s ingredients are not toxic, which is often a challenge when developing new pigments.
Another commercial use of the product – in addition to coatings and plastics, may be in roofing materials. The new pigment is a “cool blue” compound that has infrared reflectivity of about 40 percent – much higher than other blue pigments – and could be used in the blue roofing movement.
Now, the next time you admire a beautiful color, you may appreciate just how much actually went into creating it, and how much must be considered when thinking about using it to paint your house.