For lighting roads and sidewalks, as well as buildings without electricity, Dr. José Carlos Rubio of the University of Michoacan in San Nicholas Hidalgo, Mexico, proposes a new light-emitting cement that has a service life of 100 years.
Dr. Rubio began developing new material 9 years ago. As is known, when ordinary powdered cement is dissolved in water, insoluble flaky crystals are formed, which are considered to be one of the types of defects and negatively affect the strength characteristics of the finished concrete.
In order to eliminate the very possibility of the formation of these crystals and make the cement solution more homogeneous, the researcher changed the microstructure of the cement and added fluorescent components to the material that can absorb solar energy and return it to the environment in the form of radiating light.
During the day, any structure made of new material can absorb solar energy and then radiate it at night for 12 hours.
As Dr. Rubio notes, most fluorescent materials are made of plastic and have a short lifetime (about three years) due to the negative effects of ultraviolet radiation. New fluorescent cement is highly resistant to UV rays and has an estimated lifespan of 100 years.
In addition, the cement slurry with fluorescent particles is more environmentally friendly, as it is made using natural materials, chalk and clay, the only by-product of cement production is water vapor.
At this point, Dr. Rubio has developed a blue and green emitting cement, while the intensity of the light can be adjusted to avoid blinding drivers or cyclists.