In 2016, an Indian-born British artist named Anish Kapoor was given exclusive rights to use Vantablack, the darkest material in the world with an absorption rate of 99.96%. This sparked a furious reaction from fellow artists; some stated that they had never heard of an artist monopolizing a material, while others stated that this was downright immoral. One British artist in particular, Stuart Semple, retaliated by eventually developing his own "blackest black" that was made available for everyone to use - except for Anish Kapoor. Thus creating an ongoing public feud that The Independent has described as "one of the most spectacular displays of pettiness . . . these are two grown men fighting over who gets to use the pretty colours."
As the name suggests, this is Stuart Semple's third effort to develop the blackest black paint. Black 3.0's predecessor, "Black 2.0" was released back in March of 2017, after first releasing "Better Black" pigment a month earlier.
Funding for Black 3.0 began in January 2019, on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, promoting it as the "World's Blackest Black". with Semple claiming that his new paint has a visible light absorption rate of 99%. In just three and a half months, the campaign collected around $634,000. A monumental success, as this was 2000% more than their project's goal. Many people were excited to get their hands on a bottle and try it out themselves. Us included.
Then, around 1 year later in 2020, on the other side of the world in Japan, a new black paint was born. Inspired by Semple's achievement of developing an extremely black paint that was commercially available, we developed Black 3.0's better and blacker successor: Musou Black Paint. Musou Black Paint is a water-based acrylic paint with a class leading light absorption rate of 99.4%! This was achieved after hundreds of hours of R&D to develop a proprietary mix of pigments and binders as well as to find the ideal application method. That when combined, give Musou Black Paint its extraordinary light absorbing performance of 99.4%!
As you can see in the adjacent photo, Black 3.0 is no longer the "World's Blackest Black" paint. After independent testing, we found that Black 3.0's actual light absorption rate is actually around 97.5%.
Although Black 3.0's and Musou Black Paint's absorption rates are relatively close (Black 3.0 = 97.5%, Musou Black Paint = 99.4%), the 1.9% difference between the two paints makes a huge difference, as you can see in the photo.
An alternative way to explain the difference in blackness is that Black 3.0 reflects 2.5% of light, while Musou Black Paint reflects only 0.6% of light. This means that Musou Black Paint is more than 4x blacker than Black 3.0!
Well, what about Vantablack then? Isn't that the blackest thing the world? And yes, you are correct. Vantablack is the world's blackest MATERIAL, it is not a paint. Vantablack is a material made out of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that are thermally bonded to an objects surface using extreme heat. This complex method is what allows Vantablack to achieve its astonishing 99.96% absorption rate.
With that being said, Surrey Nanosystems (the developer of Vantablack) has developed a "paint" version of Vantablack called "Vantablack VBx2." This is what they used in their collaboration with BMW at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show. According to Surrey Nanosystem's catalog, the light absorption rate of VBx2 is 99%.
This means that Musou Black Paint with its 99.4% absorption rate is almost 2x blacker than Vantablack VBx2!
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Write a comment
Victor Rodriguez (Saturday, 05 November 2022 02:49)
I find this page surprisingly lack of class for a japanese site.
You don't link external sources for that independent tests you mention, you fail to mention the handling safety requirements of your paint, the skull image is a joke (half of it is painted dark grey, obviously not Black 3.0...and the big pic with the little crown is photoshoped and tasteless) and your account of the (mostly comical) Kapoor-Semple feud just cites the dismissive take by the Guardian, probably the worst existent on the issue.
This page utterly fails in its purpose of making me want to buy your product
Victor Rodriguez (Saturday, 05 November 2022 05:55)
Having said that, and after some research, it DOES seem that your paint is blacker than anything in the market, and also that Semple smearing campaign on your product is quite shameful in itself
Anonymous (Sunday, 06 November 2022)
Out of all honesty, Mr. Rodriguez, the bickering between Stuart Stemple and Anish Kapoor *is* quite petty. I get where Semple is coming from, but he does come across as having a savior complex when it comes to marketing his materials. And he does have a, "Sic 'em!" attitude in regards to getting his customers riled up about Kapoor, too, which unfortunately, I see a lot of artists adopt a rather black and white view of the situation because of this and cling onto every word of his.
With that being said, I don't actually know whether this product or Black 3.0 is blacker, and I won't really have an opinion about this until I either use these materials myself or find a third-party who is unbiased and acting independently with no clear prior favoritism show me clear results of these paints being properly applied.
And to be honest, from what bit of navigating I have done, I'm really not seeing how this site is less professional than anything I have seen on Semple's site. But I guess we have to hold the makers of Musou Black Paint to a different standard of manners because they are Japanese as opposed to English.
James (Monday, 14 November 2022 18:13)
Ive never seen so many people being but hurt over paint
Ruby (Tuesday, 06 December 2022 21:34)
That skull photo is fake. Black 3.0 is not a dark grey. Did you think people would not notice that? This is ridiculous
David Peterzell (Sunday, 01 January 2023 07:13)
Lighten up people �
David Peterzell (Sunday, 01 January 2023 07:30)
The blackest black? If you really want to ~see the blackest black, then understand that confusing blackness (a perception) with the absence of light (a physical measure) is a big mistake. Blackness is induced into surfaces based on what surrounds those surfaces. Seeing the blackest black requires contrast not the absence of light.
Jakez (Tuesday, 10 January 2023 01:30)
While it's true that blackness is induced into surfaces based on what surrounds them and that contrast is necessary to perceive blackness, this doesn't mean that the concept of the "blackest black" is invalid. The term "blackest black" refers to the darkest possible shade of black that can be achieved, and it is often used to describe materials or surfaces that are able to absorb almost all the light that hits them, resulting in a very low reflectance. This is a physical property that can be measured and quantified, regardless of whether it is perceived by the human eye or not.
Troll (Sunday, 15 January 2023 23:07)
There is no black. Only Zuul.
Edidiong (Sunday, 22 January 2023 22:56)
I'd like to add concerning the skull image that all blacks will appear grey if a powerful enough, concentrated enough light source is applied to them - including vantablack. Those decimals behind the 99.whatever are important. What the site fails to tell us is what the luminousity of the lightsource that renders that image is.
Noneya (Sunday, 29 January 2023 23:51)
My two cents on the skull debate... I wonder how you make comparison between two paint that has 3% light reflecting difference on a compressed low resolution picture?
Marc Ritz (Monday, 30 January 2023 13:22)
Noneya, you can accentuate the difference in blackness digitally and by blasting it with crazy amounts of light. In reality, they might be indistinguishable for our eyes in regular lighting conditions
Mimimi (Wednesday, 01 February 2023 20:39)
To all people who describe the photos above being "fake".. I actually tried both personally, black 3.0 and Musou black.
Already when I used Black 3.0 for the first time, I were disappointed about its greyish appearance. It only looked really deep black if adding a highly reflective coating that did lead to a very nice glossy black. nice to look at, but less special than claimed.
Musou Black in comparison looks extremely black and leaves only little structure under good lighting conditions.
So, I would personally agree that if you would paint the skull above with black 3.0 and musou black half and half and use a stronger light source, the result would look exactly as shown above.
These People Can't Math (Thursday, 16 February 2023 19:17)
Uuuuuhhhh.... 99.4% is less than 99.96%
The award for the person who failed 4th grade math goes to.... *Drum roll
The writer of this article.
El de arriba se la come y lo presume! (Tuesday, 21 February 2023 08:33)
"¡Esto significa que Musou Black Paint con su tasa de absorción del 99,4% es casi 2 veces más negra que Vantablack VBx2!"
Se refiere a la VBx2 la cual tiene 99% según.
M Hubbs (Saturday, 04 March 2023 04:52)
People saying the skull image is "fake" might never have heard of eposure settings, or post processing.
Correction^ (Saturday, 04 March 2023 04:53)
angle (Wednesday, 22 March 2023 06:16)
i want one