Check Out the Light Emitting Cement !
Dr José Carlos Rubio from the Michoacan University of Saint Nicholas of Hidalgo in Mexico has created a light-emitting cement that is designed to illuminate roads, pavements and bicycle lanes without using electricity. The created material absorbs solar energy, and returns it to the environment, it can last for up to 100 years and it’s ecological.
DR Rubio said: “Nine years ago, when I started the project, I realised there was nothing similar worldwide, and so I started to work on it. The main issue was that cement is an opaque body that doesn’t allow the pass of light to its interior.”
He explained that common cement is a dust that when it’s added to water, it dissolves as an effervescent pill. “In that moment it starts to become a gel,” similar to the one used for hair styling, but much stronger and resistant; at the same time, some crystal flakes are formed, these are unwanted sub-products in hardened cement”
Because of this, the researcher focused on modifying the micro-structure of the cement in order to eliminate crystals and make it completely gel, helping it to absorb solar energy and then return it to the environment as light.
Researcher Rubio detailed that most fluorescent materials are made out of plastic and have an average of 3 years of life span because they decay with UV rays; however, this new cement es sun resistant and has an estimated lifespan of 100 years.
Furthermore, it is ecological because it’s made out of sand, dust or clay that becomes the gel, and during it’s making the only residue is water steam. Currently, it exists in blue or green color, and the light intensity can be regulated to avoid dazzling drivers or cyclist, or unnecessary glare.
Currently, this research is in its transfer and commercialization stage, its inclusion in plaster and other construction products is also being developed.