Glow-in-the-dark cement could replace street lights and illuminate pavements

11 May 2016

A Mexican scientist has invented a glow-in-the dark cement which could replace the need for street lights and illuminate pavements and bicycle lanes.

The cement, which is sun-resistant works by absorbing solar energy throughout the daytime and during the evening then releases it.

The cement, which has been patented by Dr. José Carlos Rubio of the University of San Nicolas Hidalgo, Mexico is believed to be the first of its kind.

Dr. Rubio explained that when water is mixed with regular cement, it forms crystal flakes which act as a barrier to solar energy and its ability to absorb. He focused on changing the microstructure within the cement, which then eradicates the crystals.

The new cement is believed to last for 100 years, whereas other fluorescent materials have a lifespan of just three, when exposed to harsh UV rays.

The research is still at the beginning of the commercialisation stage, with other materials being explored for its inclusion, such as plaster.

The cement will be available in blue or green and the intensity modified to avoid dazzling cyclists or drivers.
Rubio, who believes the market opportunities for this type of cement could be huge said in an interview in Investigación y Desarrollo, “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.
“Due to this patent – the first one for this university – others have surfaced worldwide.”