Black is black – or is it about to become something else



The little black number, as black as the night, are just two of a number of familiar phrases that are part of everyday language, but what is black a dictionary description would be something like

black –“the colour of coal/ ebony or outer space –  the darkest colour, the result of the absence of or complete absorption of light.”

That last phrase “the absence of the complete absorption of light” now seems to have a new meaning a British company Surrey Nano Systems has now developed a new Black carbon nanotube material, named Vantablack, has been grown on sheets of aluminium foil and when the sheets are crumpled into miniature hills and valleys, this landscape disappears on areas covered by the material

The carbon nanotubes are each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair and the material made from them is so black that it absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of visual light, it is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing, shapes and contours are lost, leaving nothing but an apparent abyss. For more information on this remarkable product see – and

The description given be Douglas Adams in his book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe seems a very apt description of this colour with words as spoken by the hero “Ford Prefect”

““It’s so… black!” said Ford Prefect. “You can hardly make out its shape… light just seems to fall into it!”The blackness of it was so extreme that it was almost impossible to tell how close you were standing to it.“Your eyes just slide off it…” said Ford in wonder.”

We are all used to looking at lines, shape and shadow to define the object we are viewing therefore the concept of a colour so dark that it removes definable form from anything we look at conjures some interesting concepts:

-the little black number instead of being an elegant dress would become a black blob with body parts floating around it.

-black objects would become invisible in darkness – has to be a military use here – but what we normal people do on dark moonless nights we would trip over or bump into any object coated in this material – hope someone is doing a “Risk Assessment” on future product uses.

-black doors – the bit that interests us here at Timber composite doors would simply become – nothing – or should that be nothing but a shapeless void – every black door would suddenly become featureless.

Technology moves very quickly but hopefully the use of this material in everyday products such as door coatings is a long way off and we at Timber Composite Doors will continue to offer our range of ten standard and twenty nine “Italia” doors in seventeen colours – including Black composite doors – the regular kind that allows us to define the shape style and quality of these superb doors.

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