Material that stays cool in heat is highly demanded. Do you know why? Is it that we can no longer bear heat? Or has the global warming negative impact multiplied dangerously?


a house front with shades shadow to avoid sun light and heat


For whatever reason, as it varies from industry to industry, heat reflective materials‘ significance exists. You will be surprised to know that you are unknowingly using such materials in daily life. For example, when you bake in the oven, you are using aluminum foil wrapping. Why?

It is because it doesn’t absorb heat and you can safely handle it. Well, this blog focuses on the comparison between flat aluminum foil and flat white paint, so, examples will include construction scenarios. Both of these materials are hot favorites as they possess ideal heat reflective properties. But, differences exist and one of them is more effective. Let’s learn which one!


Heat Reflective Materials


Are you looking forward to learning how heat reflective materials work? Why cannot the regular material be regarded as a material that reflects heat? Also, do all reflective fabrics work on the same mechanism? There are so many questions like these to be answered but in this blog, some majors are covered. 

Commercially, you may easily find a material that stays cool in heat. However, aluminum foil and white paint are 2 of them. A heat reflective material not only reflects heat, but also light, and hence these materials are not 100% effective. The highest effectiveness rate is 95%, which is assigned to Mylar. However, aluminum foil can reflect 80-90% of the heat, and white paint does much better. 

To refer to any material as a heat reflective material, it must possess the following basic characteristics;

  1. It should absorb heat, and then reflect it back. 
  2. It should be thermally emissive. 
  3. It should be capable of maintaining internal temperature at ideal levels.
  4. It should allow light to pass (a minimum of 70% of light to pass).
  5. At standard temperature, the heat reflective material should stay cooler.

The opaque building components are embedded with heat reflective materials as it offers both heat comfort and energy savings. A material that stays cool in heat is also called a cool material because under the same conditions, such material is colder compared to other regular materials.

High solar reflective and emissive materials are applied extensively to building exteriors. They contribute greatly to lower surface temperatures and cooling loads in the summer season. However, in the cold winters, if you use them in temperate climates, the heating penalty occurs due to lower beneficial sunlight and sun heat gain on the surfaces. So, their application is limited to some particular time of the year. 


Flat Aluminum Foil or Flat White Paint?


Choosing white paint as a material that stays cool in heat probably depends on the specifics of the paint you use and the details of light you want to be reflected. The majority of all visible wavelengths will be broadly reflected by what you see as “white,” although some IR or UV light may be absorbed. More energy will be absorbed if the incoming light comes with high intensities of non-visible wavelengths. 

You might not tell the difference, although some white paints will probably reflect those better than others. Similar restrictions will presumably apply to the mirror finish because not all wavelengths will be equally reflected. For different wavelengths, various polishing techniques may produce various outcomes. So, material that stays cool in heat must provide relief in hot temperatures, otherwise, they are of no use.


white paint


If this is for practical use, not just a thought experiment, you probably also need to think about other factors, like how much the finish is resistant to wear. You may find a less reflective choice more appealing, if the brightest, highly reflecting finish is temporary in your concerned environment prior to use. Neutral white paint offers more reflexivity than other white paints. 

If you cover plants and grow rooms’ walls with aluminum foil, you will notice light coming through it. You can also wrap the foil in the wall instead of against it. Compared to white paint, it doesn’t reflect much light. Moreover, use the shining side of aluminum foil as it offers more light reflection due to having a smooth surface. 


material that stays cool in heat


Take Away!

Material that stays cool in heat is manufactured by a lot of companies, and you should choose the supplier cautiously. Whether you want to buy heat absorbing material for room or factory, collect recommendations. Don’t compromise on the quality and verify the details before buying.


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