Planning & Environment

Temperature Regulating Coating

There has been recent discussion of using light colors for surface courses in order to mitigate heat islands by reflecting away light instead of absorbing it. However, I have been hearing many people counter with the problem, in northern latitudes, of lighter pavement icing faster in winter because the darker pavements ability to absorb light allows it to remain warmer than the air in temperatures close to freezing.

Thinking about this, I am proposing a solution for research. Pigments that change color with change in temperature have been around for decades, although not in this area of use. By using this technology, we could develop a coating/surface course that will be a light color when the temperature is high, and change to a dark color when the temperature is colder. This solution would give the best of both worlds. Knowing that such pigments have been used in devices that change color with the touch of a finger, this means that the temperature scale is right in the area where we need for this to be useful; less than 100 degrees F.

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Idea No. 137