The world has a new color blue. From appearances, it looks like a really, really cool version of blue as well. Everyone the world over is touting the new blue as the best ever. Its hue is rich and vibrant, translating to art mediums very well and many other ‘practical’ venues. Where did this new amazing blue color come from? You won’t believe it.
In 2009, Oregon State scientists discovered this new magical color of blue quite by accident. They were trying to find electrical coating applications. When they took different mixtures of manganese oxide and baked them to 2000 degrees, one of the samples came out the most beautiful blue ever seen. It is called YInMn Blue after the chemical structure of Yttrium, Indium and Manganese. The Beavers (Oregon State’s nickname) knew there was something to celebrate even though it was too new to know exactly what else they had in their labs, even if their school colors are orange and black.
Historically, the search for the perfect blue dates back to at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. To them and everyone else, blue was a sign of a royalty, even god-like presence. If you wore the color blue to the latest opening of a pyramid, you were the hot stuff to look at. Not just the ladies wore the fascinating color either. Men wanted to be noticed too. Especially if you were the pharaoh.
Once the Beaver scientists discovered this particular perfect color of blue, they went about discovering how it happens. As with many cases of scientific beauty, it involves a perfect crystalline structure. This one traps all green and red color and reflects only the blue. So the color blue you are seeing is the natural version of the pure color blue. It doesn’t get any better.
There is another perfect aspect about this: it does not fade! You got it. You will never have to touch up this color. Even more perfect is the fact that this color blue is nontoxic. Unlike lead-based paints of yore, this blue won’t slowly give you hair cancer or something. That’s good news for our Editor-In-Chief. It does its job and stays out of the way. The perfect helper to life.
Beavers have even discovered that this blue reflects up to 40 percent of infrared instead of absorbing its latent heat. That will keep what is under that roof even cooler. How cool is that? Paint companies are jumping on the bandwagon. OSU has reached a licensing agreement with the Shepherd Color Company. With this color blue becoming available later this year, expect the new trending fad of a blue roof coming near you.