In efforts to find solutions to world power problems, students at the America University in Cairo have developed glow-in-the-dark concrete as part of their graduation project. The building material would help cut down on the power used for street lighting and road signage.
Menna Soliman, an undergraduate student and one of the researchers at the university’s Department of Construction Engineering, says that the idea came about due to the need to create sustainable solutions for the construction industry.
“The idea of our research came from wanting to make an integral construction material, just like concrete, but more sustainable and environmentally-friendly in both its creation and function, especially in light of what the world has come to with energy shortages and draining of resources,” Soliman said.
Once the idea was conceived, the students embarked on a journey to develop self-luminous material to be used in the concrete. According to Zainab Mahmoud, a member of the research team, their study was developed on already existing findings in the field.
“We based our ideas on previous research in this field…This material would help reduce heavy reliance on energy used in lighting sidewalks and roads, without compromising the mechanical characteristic of the material,” Mahmoud said.
According to Mahmoud, it took more than three months to reach the final product. The work on the project was presented in January at the Transportation Research Board’s 101st annual meeting in Washington.
Mahmoud noted, “The idea was welcomed by the attendees, and we had the chance to meet with experts in the field who recommended that we convert the project into a product.” The researchers say that their product could help the world if adopted. However, they admit that it still needs further study.
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