SME & Large Compagny, The luminous idea of the Girondin Olikrom 17 March 2019
A revolution in the field of road safety is underway with the birth of the LuminoKrom photoluminescent marking
“Phosphorescent stars in children’s rooms have been around for a long time!” Says Jean-François Létard, the boss of Olikrom, located in Pessac (Gironde). This former research director at the Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry in Bordeaux (CNRS unit) has developed a phosphorescent paint that stores light, natural or artificial, and restores it at night.
The technological challenge was that it withstands the passage of vehicles, the weather and the wear of time: “We have managed to meet it through an innovation that we keep secret, of course,” continues the leader. Designed especially for road marking, this painting, which goes into commercialization, allows a cyclist to see up to 80 meters in front of him at the beginning of the night, 30 meters at the end – the brightness decreases as the night, to disappear after ten hours of darkness. Measurements made by the French Institute of Transport Science and Technology.
Thanks to this innovation, Olikrom (14 employees) hopes to hire between 20 and 30 people within a year and a half. It intends to convince local authorities for their roads, hospitals, retirement homes, schools. And interest all those who may be faced with the need to make bright a place without electricity, to evacuate. “Our painting is obviously more expensive than another that does not have the same properties, but if we compare it to the price needed to install lighting in isolated areas, it becomes very cheap,” concludes Jean François Létard.
Thus, equipping a kilometer of cycle path with LuminoKrom® luminescent paint costs around 5,000 euros, while electrification of this section would cost between 200,000 and 400,000 euros!
In terms of implementation, LuminoKrom® paint is as easy as a classic marking. It makes it possible to secure cycle facilities and accident-prone areas (baffles, bends, motorway exits, etc.) without heavy civil engineering work and without investment in equipment, without significant maintenance or consumption costs.
There is no doubt that in the long term, the LuminoKrom® innovation will contribute to reducing the territorial divide by providing more security at a cost accessible to as many communities as possible. This is a simple way to quickly secure accident-prone areas (baffles, bends, motorway exits, etc.) which are not connected to electricity and would require a significant investment to benefit from it, like rural areas.