Light-emitting cement could mean the end of streetlights

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Plazma Inferno!, May 18, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Earlier this month José Carlos Rubio, from Michoacan’s University of San Nicolas Hidalgo, announced that he had developed a solar-powered, glowing cement that could be used to illuminate roads, bike lanes and walking paths at night without the need of electricity. Additionally, the cement could also illuminate buildings and structures.
    Rubio explained that cement is dust, but when mixed with water it dissolves and forms gel. The addition of water produces tiny crystal flakes that block light. Taking note of this, Rubio eliminated the crystals flakes so as to make it completely gel. This made the cement to absorb solar energy and then return it to the environment as light. 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.

    http://technicollit.com/light-emitting-cement-could-mean-the-end-of-streetlights/?_utm_source=1-2-2
     
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  3. ajanta Registered Senior Member

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    It's really interesting ! Light emitting road, I think it's good idea but not to buildings because we could collect solar energy by solar panels from those buildings though I'm sure many people will like those light emitting buildings because it's cheaper and nice to see.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Is this a late April Fool joke? It reads like utter crap.
     
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  7. ajanta Registered Senior Member

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    Assuming the light emitter cement doesn't do that for long time at night..
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    From what I have read, this article seems to be complete junk. A load of rubbish about crystals and gels, with nothing to explain what compound in cement would absorb sunlight and then re-emit visible light slowly over a period of time.
     
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  9. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    I notice it doesn't mention anything about who Rubio is or what he does, only that he's from some University.

    Maybe he's the janitor.
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    It looks as if this "Technicollit" web mag is fairly hypey-junky (as Sarah Palin might say) and mostly about IT. I suspect they don't have anyone with much of a clue about materials science or chemistry.
     
  11. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Tried to find any paper about it, but no luck. No actual DOI.
    Phys.org and Science Daily both published the same article. My bet is PR.
    Source in Spanish doesn't provide much info either.
     
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  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    But PR for whom? Any scientist reading this will be inclined to dismiss the university and the researcher as transparent frauds! Not very clever PR.
     
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  13. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Suppose it was magic cement with miracle crystals that shined all night long. To take advantage, any structure would have to be bare cement. That means no paint, wallpaper, paneling etc. to obscure the 'soft glow'. Rather drab daytime living - reminds of Soviet era grey cities.
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Quite. So, even if it were not ballocks, it would be useless. Now a paint that stored light and re-reradiated it phosphorescently would be far more use. And of course we have these already, though nothing like bright enough for street lighting.
     
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  15. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Stop press: Just for fun did a search for 'light emitting cement hoax', and, shock-n-amazement, seems there is something to it all after all:
    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/1...rk-cement-can-probably-last-for-100-years.htm
    So, would the hypnotic appeal of fancy blue patterns on the road while night driving be a boon or a distraction leading to more road accidents? Lawyers take note!
    [Also, see under last article heading 'Light-emitting concrete' here:
    http://www.equipmentworld.com/light...search-that-may-fuel-tomorrows-road-projects/
    Sounds like a different technology to Spanish one, but they are up-beat about potential safety benefits. Just goes to show - some crazy stories aint necessarily crazy after all. As long as buildings are out of the (glow-concrete)mix anyway.]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
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  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    The second one I believe: it's not the concrete but a sealant, with a phosphorescent compound combination that accounts for this behaviour.

    The first is just a slightly different version of the one PI posted: same stuff about removing opaque "crystals" from concrete, unexplained references to "gel" and no mention whatsoever of what compound is supposedly doing the phosphorescing. The implication is that if one removes the "crystals" from concrete, one is left with a phosphorescent gel.

    Ballocks, says I!
     
  17. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    For sure the OP article in particular just sounded too stupid for words, but maybe it's a case of poor translation from Spanish to English combined with poor journalism. Maybe. We'll just have to wait for more light to shine on it!

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  18. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    When cement aint cement anymore: http://phys.org/news/2016-05-highways-light-emitting-cement.html
    Gee, maybe this new 'cement' can be aesthetically pleasing in an architectural setting. Damn - there goes my last sceptical holdout. Portland cement is normally what we think of as just cement and is loaded with iron compounds as contaminant. Hence the dull opaque gray. But some searching uncovers there is a breed of translucent cement out there:
    http://illumin.usc.edu/printer/245/translucent-concrete-an-emerging-material/

    Rubio et al just may have found a way to neutralize the iron colouring in Portland cement, roughly analogous to how it's done with glass. And index match the rest somehow. Or more likely the poor article wording is just code for starting with basically iron-free boutique translucent cement. Plaster, normally very opaque, is supposed to be also a candidate for glow in the dark. Just how plaster can be rendered translucent so as to permit sustained phosphorescent glow and still be plaster would be interesting to know indeed. Enough of this obsession.
     
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry I can't let this go without knowing what substance is alleged to have phosphorescent properties in this stuff. Why do they not tell us - it's the obvious question crying out to be answered? I've tried looking it up but no joy.
     
  20. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    I believe this would just lead to engineers becoming set in their ways.

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  21. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    GROAN!
     

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