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IN REPLY ADDRESS
19 December 1941
1. When initating measures for carrying out the second provision of reference (a), painting obtrusive structures a color to make them unobtrusive in their surroundings, attention is directed to the effect of dark color paints on the contents of gasoline storage tanks.
2. The aluminum paint at present required for use on the exterior of gasoline and oil tanks by Navy Department Specification 48S8c, August 1, 1941j Steelwork, Structural, Fabricated (Shore Use) possesses a high degree of heat reflectivity. In general, dark color paints do not possess this characteristic and hence contribute to a rise in the temperature of the contents, resulting in the evaporation of certain important components of the gasoline, with consequent decrease in overall efficiency of the fuel.
3. Information in the possession of this Bureau indicates that the heat reflectivity of dark color paints is greatly increased if the particular paint employed possesses the property of reflecting infra-red radiation. At present the only commercially available dark color, infra-red reflecting paint known to the Bureau is a special tank coating manufactured by the Arco Company of 7301 Bessemer Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio and 745 East 59th Street, Los Angles, California, This coating is available in green, brown and black as shown on enclosure (A). It is understood that the three colors shown can be mixed together to obtain shades similar to those contained on the green and brown color charts contained in reference,(b), but that the coating cannot be mixed with other paints or colors in oil without destroying the infra-red reflecting properties. The coating can be made in special colors by the manufacturer, if the range obtainable with the three colors shown is deemed insufficient.4. It should be noted that it is only the final coat of paint that determines the heat-reflecting characteristics of a surface, and therefore the special infra-red reflecting tank coating discussed above may be applied directly to previously painted surfaces, and must not be covered with any other coating. This type of paint is not applicable where splinter-proofing on side-walls of tanks is in place, 5» Enclosure (B), Tentative Memorandum Specification for Infra-red Reflecting Paint, is forwarded for information, The Bureau is cooperating in investigations being carried on with a view to establishing more fully developed specifications for infrared reflecting paint.
National Archives & Records Administration, Seattle Branch
Record Group 181, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Captain of the Yard Passive Defense Files
Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.
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