Article from La Tribune: Olikrom and Eiffage unveil the first luminescent road of France in Pessac

This is a first in France. Eiffage Route and the company OliKrom from Gironde, which formalized their collaboration a year ago, yesterday inaugurated a luminescent cycle track in Pessac. First objective: to strengthen road safety by improving the visibility of road markings. After a test in Pessac, the commercialization should take place in France in 2019 and internationally.

LuminoKrom® photoluminescent road paint captures and stores sunlight or headlight and restores it at night. (Credits: Alban Gilbert, OliKrom)

LuminoKrom® photoluminescent road paint captures and stores sunlight or headlight and restores it at night. (Credits: Alban Gilbert, OliKrom)

It is necessary to wait for the nightfall to see its effects. The result is then very visible. On a totally black road, visibility is increased from 50 to 100 meters. The road lights up. To achieve this, a luminescent white strip was placed on the ground on a Pessac bike path. Its secret? To be composed of a painting named LuminoKrom® developed by the Olikrom company from Pessac.

“This paint, which contains innovative and durable pigments, captures and stores sunlight or headlight all day and restores it all night,” says Jean-François Létard, founder of Olikrom, a specialist in smart pigments.

Read also: Smart Pigments: Olikrom inaugurates its pilot unit

A global market

The idea is not new:

“A first attempt was made in the Netherlands but it ended in failure as soon as the laboratory technology came out, and there are indeed several challenges: to develop this paint while complying with road marking. which must be anti-slip. Two years of research have been necessary, recognizes Jean-François Létard. The key to success, in my opinion, is to master all the steps, from the manufacture of pigments to painting, to then integrate it into the finished product. “

In Pessac, the test is performed on a portion of 2 kilometers, the idea being to obtain the necessary certifications for marketing in France next year, and then internationally. “It’s a global market,” insists Jean-François Létard.

The road of the future

In addition to bike paths, many applications are quickly considered, particularly to better secure dangerous spots, the immediate surroundings of crosswalks, school zones, or rural road bends. “The aim is to find solutions to improve road safety, the priority being to protect the most vulnerable”, insists François Olard, research and innovation director at Eiffage Route.

This performance, made possible thanks to the I-Street innovation program coordinated by the Eiffage Group and supported by the Ademe, foreshadows a safer, but also more economical and ecological future road. If the price of this high-end paint has not been unveiled, “it will always be cheaper than setting up a new infrastructure,” says François Olard. “To illuminate this trail Pessac, trenches cutting the roots of trees and setting up relatively low rise urban lamppost would have been necessary,” says Eric Martin, 1st Deputy Mayor of Pessac. “Pessac which was, moreover, the first municipality of more than 50.000 inhabitants to have tested, in France, the extinction of the public lighting at night.”

Olikrom was awarded a few days ago the Prix Pépite industriel at the Grands Prix of the industry of the future organized in Nice by La Tribune.

Link to the article by La Tribune de Hélène Lerivrain