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Kool Blue Color Technology Technology

Kool Blue Logo Roofing has traditionally been a messy business because of hot and oily asphalt handling. Traditional asphalt felt paper is black in color, and black surfaces result in high solar energy absorption (low reflectance), and consequently, high surface temperature elevation. These elevated temperatures cause several problems for felt underlayments, roofers and the roofing system:

1. Asphalt felt paper contains oils that leach out at elevated temperatures. This can make felts slick and unsafe to walk on, and very hot and messy to work with. These oils also cause the roll layers to stick and become difficult to unwind. This is lost productivity in roll handling care, roll damage and repair, and extra time dealing with messy asphalt residue. The loss of oils over time due to heat also dries out and weakens asphalt felt paper underlayments.

2. Elevated temperatures reduce the mechanical strength of asphalt felt paper, making nail tearing during surface walking that much easier, resulting in greater safety concerns. High temperatures from black color combined with solar UV exposure accelerates the degradation of asphalt felt paper underlayments. It is quite common for asphalt felt underlayment to last less than 10 years under 50 year rated tile roofing in the sunbelt.

3. Black underlayments are solar heat sinks, thus increasing the energy absorption and heat-up of roofing systems, and ultimately, attic spaces. This increased heat load results in higher cooling bills for the home/property owner. California Energy Commission (CEC) Title 24 is a clear regulatory response to energy conservation by encouraging the use of "cool roofs".

Synthetic underlayments have eliminated the mess of dealing with oily asphalts, but most are black. The use of light color products (e.g. white & light gray) will reduce the heat buildup, but then are extremely shiny and reflective, resulting in extreme glare. Glare is also a significant hazard for roofers due to the blinding effects of some light color roofing products which can impair visual navigation on the roof, as well as making it difficult to align product, see chalk lines, fastener locations, and stray tools on the underlayment working surface, etc.

PALISADE™ surface color was specifically engineered to reduce the effects of solar radiation absorption (heat up) and glare simultaneously. Utilizing KOOL BLUE™ technology, PALISADE™ was designed to produce a synthetic underlayment product that has both low solar energy absorption and low glare. But high reflectance can also mean high glare. The surface layer of PALISADE™ has been engineered with a unique low glare blue color and roughened microstructure which scatters the incident light, thus producing a diffuse reflectance, and low glare.

Solar reflectance Curve The principles of KOOL BLUE™ technology are visualized by a Solar Reflectance (SR) curve. The greater the % reflectance value, the lower the solar energy absorption and heat up. The figure below shows a SR curve for PALISADE™ and traditional black asphalt felt paper over the main visible spectrum wavelength range. As you can see, KOOL BLUE™ technology results in reflectance values of almost 50% in the visible spectrum compared to 5% for asphalt felt paper. This difference manifests itself during sun exposed underlayment conditions as a surface temperature rise of less than 10°F for PALISADE™ vs. 50°F for asphalt felt paper, and 8X cooler in terms of overall heat absorption!

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