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Black Matte Paint for Space Use

Q. I am looking for the black matte paint used in optical systems, like the telescope, to absorb the light. It is painted on the metal surface. It should be strong enough to survive the high g vibration without losing particles. I heard that this type of paint has been used in the space based optical system. However, I am not sure who is the manufacturer. Any suggestion will be helpful. Thanks !

Wei Su

A. I have used a product called Chemglaze, I forget the Manufacturer's name. It comes in white and flat black. If you are looking for a "real" low emissivity coating suitable for space use, try a Martin Marietta coating (similar to anodizing) its called "Martin Black or Martin Marietta Black. We used it for an infrared radiometer used on the EOS AM-1 Spacecraft.

Anthony Ratajczak
- Montreal, Quebec

A. The Martin Black process IS anodizing. I have been using it for 8 years. It has very low reflectivity from UV to deep IR. There is another antireflective coating called CAT-A-Lac 463-3-8 from Dexter Aerospace Materials (Illinois). I don't have experience with it.

Carlos M. Ruiz
- Dallas Texas

A. The name of the company that manufactures Chemglaze (now called Aeroglaze) is the Lord Corporation. They are based in Erie Pennsylvania.

Patrick Langan

RFQ: Could you, please, give me the name of the French distributor for the CHEMGLAZE Z 306. Thank you for your answer. Best regards.


Ed. note: The Lord Corporation is in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA as noted above, Francois. Please contact them there.
We thank our supporting advertisers for making this site possible for this technical info exchange & camaraderie, and we can't ask them to bear the costs of trying to maintain international distributorship information for their competitors smiley face.

A. Detailed specification of black paint CHEMGLAZE Z306 is described in ESA PSS-01-725 Issue 1

Rostislav Grygar
Czech Space Research Centre - Brno, Czech Republic

A. I believe Lord's Z-line Chemglaze is an aromatic polyurethane used mainly for interior applications. The A-line (i.e. A276) is aliphatic and had a name change from Chemglaze A-xxx to Aeroglaze. It is very good for exterior and space use.

I think it meets the NASA outgassing requirements ( ASTM E595 [affil link]). The white color has good reflectivity and there is a black that is a good absorber.

Q. Also, I would be interested in some more info on Martin Black. Have been unable to locate any.

Paul C. Kochendorfer
- Laguna Hills, California

Q. I am interested in spray paints for metal surfaces which have a low reflectivity throughout the visible and near / mid-IR ( from 400 nm to 12 microns ).

Does anyway know if Krylon Flat Black 1602 [affil link] is non-reflective in the near-IR?

Could anyone recommend to me a book or source of data on IR reflectivities of various paints and coatings?

Mark Nelson
- White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico

Q. I would like to ask the same question Mark Nelson asked. I need a paint with a very low reflectivity value to use on a mounting platform that will be used to mount atmospheric radiation sensors. Could you please tell me if Krylon ultra-flat black will work or if there is a better product.

Todd Schimelfenig
University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Nebraska

A. The emissivity of Krylon Ultra Flat Black Paint is listed in the web site below as 0.97 at 5 um. I have recently used a 3-5 µm InSb radiometric thermal imager to measure the emissivity. I sprayed the paint on a copper plate and mounted it on a cold finger of a variable temperature dewar with a calcium fluoride window. I rotated the dewar window so as to not back reflect. I measured an emissivity of 0.89 for the setup. If we exclude the reflection from the window (~0.04 x 2), this would give an emissivity for the black paint of ~0.97 in agreement with the web site.

James R. Lindle
Research Physicist - Bowie, Maryland

Seeking Alexit Nextel Velvet Coating 811-21

RFQ: Need to find a company to coat machined parts with the Nextel Velvet Coating 811-21 black coating. Machine parts are made from plate aluminum stock and have selected areas coated.

Charles F [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Manufacturer - Milpitas, California, U.S.A.

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is outdated so private contact is no longer available, but public technical replies are still welcome! No public brand/source suggestions please ( huh? why?)

A. I have been experimenting with infrared coatings for NIR, MidIR and FarIR. In general if the temperature of the item coated is 100 °C or less the Krylon ultra flat black gives the best most consistent coating, better than many that are specified higher than .97. It is far easier to apply than most other coatings also. Spectral would be from 1 to 16 microns but at longer wavelengths how the coating is applied makes a difference. At surface temperatures above 100 °C it turns grayish and emissivity drops significantly.

Steven Cook
- Tucson, Arizona
June 12, 2008

"Handbook of Applied Thermal Design"

on AbeBooks

or Amazon

(affil links)

RFQ: Dear Sir/Madam
Regarding krylon spray for glassware items, I watch krylon spray in website. I need contact no. with address of dealer of Krylon spray in india.

Rahul Ali
- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh India
January 28, 2012

Ed. note: Hi Rahul. Postings of technical info and camaraderie are welcome. As previously noted, we can't possibly ask the supporting advertisers who make the page possible for us all to pay the costs of maintaining international distributorship information for their competitors who don't support this site :-)

A. The Hi-Temp paint needs to be cured, and if used in a vacuum system, off gases like crazy. (Tried it)

The Krylon 1602 mentioned above has NASA / CAL TECH reports measuring it's emissivity and it's used for our emissivity based experiments.

Lee Cusick
Atomic Energy Canada - Chalk River, Ontario, Canada
June 27, 2013

A. Re: Flat black paint w/low reflectivity in IR range +

To answer this question:

a. a site for paint/material emissivity is

b. the best paint for Black body as IR sources is: ALEXIT Velvet coating 811-21 (was 3M Nextel) emissivity of .97, thermal conductive 30 deg.C to 150 deg. C, total emissivity -60 deg. C to 150 deg. C.

Douglas Stone
- San Diego, California, USA



NEXTEL Suede and NEXTEL Velvet coatings are STILL available, not through 3M though.

The distributor for North America is Mankiewicz Coatings LLC.

They have been selling these products under the ALEXIT brand but have recently acquired the rights on the NEXTEL brand name for North America.

Stefan Guenther
- Greenville, South Carolina, USA

A. I am researching many of the same issues posted here in several questions. There are two important papers you may want to consider, especially if your applications are cryogenic: (1) "The selection of infrared blacks for SIRTF" by St. Claire Dinger, SPIE, Vol. 2260, Stray Radiation in Optical Systems III (1994). (2) "Infrared black paints for room and cryogenic temperatures" by Ungar, Mangin, Lutz, Jeandel & Wyncke, SPIE, Vol 1157, IR Technology XV (1989). I spoke with Martin Marietta in FL and was told they are not interested in applying the Martin anodize process for small external projects. Have not checked Lockmart. Lord Co.'s division in Erie PA sells the Aeroglaze products, and there are other companies (do a quick web search) who will apply it for you if you'd rather not buy large quantities. My experience is that companies sell the rights to these products frequently, so it takes a bit of detective work to locate what you need.

Michelle Creech-Eakman
Caltech - Pasadena, California

Ed. note: The smart vendors are supporting advertisers here at, where their contact info is always current, imposing no "detective work" on their potential customers smiley face

RFQ: We need high temperature paint in semi glossy black color to be used on tractor mufflers.

Ajay Bhutani
- New Delhi, India

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is outdated so private contact is no longer available, but public technical replies are still welcome! No public brand/source suggestions please ( huh? why?)

Dear Ajay,

A. You might try Okitsumo, Inc. Their corporate headquarters are in Japan. If you'd like their U.S. phone number, please contact me.

Jake Koch
G. J. Nikolas &Co.,Inc.
supporting advertiser
Bellwood, Illinois
nikolas banner ad

A. I think that the best black coating is ZYNOLYTE a paint for Hi-Temp (1200°F°) the original purpose was to paint stoves or similar, but now is used for all manufacturer of black-bodies, for NASA, Sandia Labs, etc. The coefficient is 0,99 and works perfectly in IR, Distributor is Athena Brands Inc Gardnerville Nevada

E. Diez Valero
- Madrid, SPAIN

Q. I am looking for an infrared absorbing paint (absorption peak should be in the 810 nm region) for coating of wood.

Can anyone advise ?

Carole Helfter
PhD student - Heriot-Watt University - Edinburgh, UK

A. This page lists 3M optical black as having an Emissivity of 1.00... I assume since its made by 3m, it should be commercially available from them somewhere, but I have yet to find a source. If anyone can find a source for this paint...

"Paint: 3M, black velvet coating 9560 series optical black"

Apparently coatings used in optics, telescopes, laser devices, etc... are the best bet to look for which have been developed for extremely good absorption across a wide spectrum (I assume, precise data on any particular paint would be far preferable as to how it reacted across a large area of the spectrum).

Mark Starr
- Augusta, Georgia

A. The web site below gives the reflectance spectra of a number of commercially available paints. The emissivity is just 1 minus the reflectance.

James R. Lindle
Physicist - Bowie, Maryland

A. Data on Martin Black and several other black surfaces are given in this author's paper: "Review of black surfaces for space-borne infrared systems" Review of Scientific Instruments, vol 70, no 5 p2193.
3M black hemi-directional, spectral reflectance 2-9 microns is 0.04; 9-20 microns its 0.06.

Merle J. Persky
MIT Lincoln Laboratory - Newton, Massachusetts


Q. I am student of M tech from surface coating technology,UICT, Matnga, Mumbai, India .I am doing project on IR Reflective Coatings.
Can you refer me to information related IR Reflective Coatings?

Bhupesh Marathe
student - India

Ed. note: Hi Bhupesh. We appended your inquiry to a thread which already answered it. Good luck.

Q. Can anyone suggest a black paint which has very high absorption at 1500-1600 nm range and can use at high temperature up to 400 °C. any suggestion will be highly appreciated


Ginu Rajan
Researcher - Ireland
October 15, 2008

A. Depending on the Form, fit, function and wave length of the part that has to absorb IR, the processes are various and many. Electrolysis, painting and / or growth. Over the past 15 years I have tested many so with a little more information I might be able to point you in the right direction.

Keith Pieske
- Stockholm, Sweden
August 27, 2009

Search for Better UV Absorbing Black Paint

I need some information on what kind of black paint have better performance on absorbing 365 nm UV light.


David H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Madison, Wisconsin

RFQ: For an experiment, I am looking for an optical black paint which has a high absorption from UV to IR. I have found several products: Martin Black Velvet, Aeroglaze Z306. Since I am out of north America, could anyone tell where and how to buy these products?

designer - chengdu, sichuan, china
March 24, 2011

A. Please also consider the following absorber coatings used for space applications from Alion Science and Technology:

Joseph Ferguson
- Chicago, Illinois
July 15, 2011

A. You can try Fractal Black or Black Metal Velvet by Acktar Ltd.

ultra matte black paint

Dina Katsir
- Israel
October 19, 2011

Q. Hello everyone, I'm searching a black paint with an emissivity close to 1. Target is to experiment building of a black body source.

Since 3M black velvet coating 9560 series optical black seems to be NLA, I'm searching for something else.

E. Diez on a previous message told that ZYNOLYTE Hi-Temp paint is used by most IR source manufacturers, and have an emissivity of 0.99

Can someone confirm that this paint can be intended for this use?


Jack Dongler
- Paris, Paris, France
June 4, 2013

A. This site should help with choosing an paint based on it's emissivity value.

Lee Cusick
- Chalk River, Ontario, Canada
June 27, 2013

High Temperature High Emissivity Coating for Brass

Q. I am looking for a high-emissivity coating for a brass thermal target. The target is about 6" in diameter and 1" thick. Emissivity must be equal to or better than .6 (what is achieved with the current process). The target will be temperature cycled up to 500 degrees C (932F). The target will be used outdoors, so the coating should be weather resistant. We are prototyping 1-2 pcs right now but will be making about 50 of these for "production." Any suggestions?

The current process is to coat in a slurry of carbon black and cutting oil. I'm hoping to find something a little cleaner. We tried black zinc on a sandblasted surface, but the plating blistered at 430 °C. We're looking at black oxide and possibly antiquing the brass to a black-ish finish. I'm trying to steer clear of paint, but will use it if it's the only thing that will work.

Thanks in advance.

Meagan Noble
engineer - Austin, Texas, USA
October 15, 2013

Q. I have a laser energy meter. The covering paint on the laser head (detector) has been damaged. Give me the appropriate coatings or paint for detector protection.

M Shakeel
- Khairpur Sindh Pakistan
December 12, 2013

Q. Hello,

We used to use Aeroglaze Z302, but it isn't available anymore, aside from 50 Gallon minimum orders, while we need about 1 liter.

Does anyone happen to know of any possible substitutes for Aeroglaze Z302?
The important specifications are high absorptivity, glossy reflection, and space approval.

Thanks in advance,

Nathan Mingard
- Davos, Switzerland
October 16, 2014

Projector Screen Paint

(affil links)

A. Consider using a flat black projector border paint like the one from digital image; sounds like exactly what you're looking for.

Matt Blankenship-
- Bonita Springs, Florida USA
February 26, 2015

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