Development of Transparent Concrete
Hello everyone! I hope the last couple of weeks has gone well. I was preoccupied with a small vacation, school stuff, and having to get a new vehicle since my car was totaled. However, I hope to get back on schedule after this. Today, I would like to talk about a new development in concrete technology: concrete designed to be transparent.
According to the article by Giatec Scientific, the concrete mixture is modified such that 4 to 15 percent of the mix is fiber optics materials. Ideas for transparent concrete since 1935; however, serious development had not been pursued until 2001 by Áron Losonczi for use in his architectural designs. In 2004, production was started for other commercial usage as a type of concrete called “Litracon.” Since then, other competitors have developed similar designs. These products have been used with back-lighting or natural light.
I think the concept is very interesting. It’s something I would probably enjoy working with or using in a design. The aesthetics would be amazing to see and I like the idea that it could be used in circumstances where you need more stiffness than a big window could provide. The situation would be similar to structures that use the glass masonry units. There are however some issues I can see. One is when and where can it be used safely. The article mentioned examples where it’s used in floors and floors can see a lot of loading in certain types of situations, i.e. stadiums or concert halls. The other issue I see is behavior of over time. Will the bonding of the cement hold up in a mixture with that much of a potential void ratio? Even if it holds up in regards to it’s initial bonding, will the mechanical strength related properties such as creep and general durability such as cracking be reduced? Along with that, I would imagine the aesthetics have to hold up as well.
What are your thoughts on the idea of transparent concrete? Is it something that is practical to use in building design? If you enjoyed the blog post, feel free to like it and share it with your friends. Thanks for your time and have a good week!
Giatec Scientific, “Concrete Innovation Part 3: Design”, http://goo.gl/Ee7VBo