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 cement absorbs solar energy during the day and releases it in the dark and, furthermore, is claimed to have a lifespan of 100 years.

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, when water is added to common cement, crystal flakes are formed that block the absorption of solar energy. The researcher focused on modifying the micro-structure of the cement in order to eliminate the crystals.

Most fluorescent materials are made out of plastic and have a three year life span, on average, as they decay with UV rays; however, Dr Rubio claims this new cement is sun resistant, contributing to its estimated 100 year lifespan.

Furthermore, because it is made out of sand, dust or clay and, during its production the only residue is steam, he says the material is ecological. Currently, the material is available in blue or green, and the light intensity can be regulated to avoid dazzling drivers or cyclist, or unnecessary glare.

This project has inspired other countries to follow this line of research: “In the UK, we received recognition from the Newton fund, given by the Royal Engineering Academy of London, which chooses global success cases in technology and entrepreneurship,” said Dr Rubio.

In 2015 global cement production was about 4billion tons, something, Dr Rubio says this shows that the material could have a wide commercial market. Currently, this research is in its transfer and commercialisation stage, its inclusion in plaster and other construction products is also being developed.

Tom Austin-Morgan

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Comment Andries de Swart, 21/11/2018
It is very insight in cemment product

Comment HariWinarsa, 03/06/2016

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