Dulux South Africa and Trade All Africa recently partnered with the WITS Planetarium to ensure the best clarity of the astronomical content presented at the planetarium.
The WITS Planetarium is an iconic educational landmark in Johannesburg and it was the first full-sized planetarium in Africa. It hosts more than 77 000 learners and adults annually, informing them about the wonders of the universe. The planetarium building has been in existence for 57 years, and therefore the interior dome surfaces had deteriorated over time and required re-painting, not only for the planetarium to be fully functional, but also to produce desired the results in order for it to serve its purpose of educating audiences and supporting their interest in astronomy.
“Astronomy is an often overlooked career and yet we need more astronomers in South Africa. This project with Dulux and Trade All Africa was important to us as the planetarium is a gateway to the world of science and the stars. By revamping the dome surface, we are able to give visitors the best possible display of our content and spark a love for space exploration in the young school learners that visit the planetarium”, says Professor John Carter from the WITS Planetarium.
The project required intensive research into the product that would be suitable to achieve the recommended dome reflectivity of 50%. Clear projection of data was the most important factor of this project, which required many hours of testing to find the correct paint colour that would provide the desired effect with maximum warranty.
The process of renovating the dome was initially started 5 years ago, but only came to fruition when Dulux came on board last year. Ultimately the Dulux Trade 100 matte– 30YY 78/018 was selected as the paint that produced a clear and sharp image with good colour saturation across the dome.
“Initially the project was set up for cleaning the dome, but after discovering that the deteriorating surface of the dome needed more than just cleaning, we reached out to Dulux to assist and they saw this project through to completion with us,” added Vaughn Zackey, Trade All Africa Managing Director.
“Working with the WITS Planetarium gave Dulux the opportunity not only to showcase the premium quality of our paints, but also to make a difference in the community of our consumers”, said Dewald Boshof, Dulux Technical team. “We are very proud to have been part of renovating one of the city’s most renowned buildings and enhancing the immersive experience of young minds as they explore the wonders of our known universe.”