This Paint Inspired by Butterflies Could Be the Secret to Cooler Cities

Reprinted from Fast Company
Oct 5, 2020 10:00 AM ET
Summary: 

Cypris Materials has created a paint inspired by blue morpho butterfly wings, which get their color from blue lightwaves reflecting off the nanostructure of the wings themselves (up close you’ll see they’re actually translucent). Like butterfly wings, Cypris’ paint works through reflection, so color comes from particular lightwaves that reflect off the nanostructure of the paint. In short, this paint functions through structural color rather than chemical pigments or dyes.

Article

Back in the day, paint often got its color from the actual animal kingdom. Insects like cochineal and carmine gave us rich blues and blood reds. Renaissance painters used egg as a binder in tempura oil painting. Now, rather than using insects as the material, one company is using them as inspiration. And it has the potential to do a lot more than beautify.

Cypris Materials has created a paint inspired by blue morpho butterfly wings, which get their color from blue lightwaves reflecting off the nanostructure of the wings themselves (up close you’ll see they’re actually translucent). Like butterfly wings, Cypris’ paint works through reflection, so color comes from particular lightwaves that reflect off the nanostructure of the paint. In short, this paint functions through structural color rather than chemical pigments or dyes.

Read the full story on Fast Company's website.

Valerie Bennett
Ray C. Anderson Foundation
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Lex Amore
Biomimicry Institute
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