The Mexican researcher José Carlos Rubio Ávalos, from the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, created a fluorescent cement. His reasoning was: “If we find it scattered around the world, if we see it in an infinity of buildings, roads, houses and bridges, then the cement is surely exposed to solar radiation.”
The principle of a phosphorescent material is to absorb ultraviolet radiation during the day to later shine at night. Cement is an opaque body and that is why it does not allow light to pass through. After studying the composition of Portland cement, the team of researchers modified the microscopic structure “not to make it transparent or translucent, but so that it could absorb UV rays.” Rubio Ávalos explained: “It was about allowing the diffusion of light radiation through the silica – present in cement – which is the same material with which glass is made.”
The researcher commented: “The applications are very broad, among which the most outstanding are the architectural market: facades, swimming pools, bathrooms, kitchens, parking lots, etcetera; in road safety and signs; in the power generation sector, such as oil platforms ”.
This cement was conceived as a covering layer for building facades or to be used in signaling roads and highways, the expert clarified, as it is four times more expensive than normal cement.