Friday, May 20, 2016

Concrete That Glows in the Dark

(Photo : Investigación y Desarrollo)
There has been an amazing development in the field of concrete. A concrete currently under development has the ability to glow in the dark. During the day it absorbs energy from the sun and is able to emit light during the night for up to 12 hours. The research is underway at Mexico’s Michoacan’s University of San Nicolas Hidalgo.

Whether or not this material is bright enough that it could be used to replace street lighting remains to be seen, but the possibilities for creative uses are really exciting. Imagine sculptures made from this material! Or if it scales down, jewellery!

José Carlos Rubio, a professor at the University, is the product’s inventor. It has been nine years of research and development and is currently being commercialized.

When water is added to Portland cement powder, crystals form that block light making the resulting concrete opaque. Apparently Rubio has discovered a method to make those crystals transparent, enabling sunlight to penetrate. It is not clear what material has been added to make the concrete phosphorescent, but it is not a plastic that will break down over time. The professor claims that the phosphorescence should last for 100 years.