A new type of aircraft paint developed by British innovators Qinetiq (Hall2B J13/4) lowers costs by reducing the solar heat absorbed by treated areas.

Laboratory tests have shown that the Low Solar Load (LSL) paint can reduce the temperature of areas of aircraft where it is applied by up to 35% compared to other coatings.

White surfaces reflect the sun's visible energy and feel cooler whereas darker liveries traditionally absorb more heat and are warmer. However LSL paint technology reflects energy in the infra-red as well as visible spectrum, so that dark LSL paint colours feel cool just like standard white surfaces.

The paint significantly reduces both outer and interior temperatures while an aircraft sits on a runway, or is parked at a terminal in direct or partial sun. It is particularly effective when used on dark-liveried planes that operate in hotter climates. The paint helps reduce weight and costs thanks to savings on air-conditioning, insulation and material requirements.

Dr Andy Treen of Qinetiq materials division says: "New civil aircraft need to meet tougher design specifications, driven by international legislation and operator requirements. These require aircraft to fly further, burn less fuel and operate more cost-effectively."

Source: Flight Daily News