Light Transmitting Concrete
Image Source: LiTraCon
The basic material of concrete has existed for centuries and is thought to be the world's most popular and widely used building product. It is a cost effective, high-strength, and durable material that is relatively easy to work with. However, the interior of a concrete building tends to be rather dark and heavy in appearance. In an effort to transform this appearance, a Hungarian architect has combined conventional concrete with optical fiber to create a new type of concrete that transmits light.
A light-transmitting concrete product called LiTraCon is currently under development and should be available for sale in prefabricated blocks by the end of 2005 (Graydon, 2004). Parallel glass fibers are embedded into the concrete to form a matrix that can display a view through wall panels to the outdoors. As shadows and even color are transmitted through it, the light-transmitting concrete can create a much different type of environment than traditional concrete walls. Further, beds of lighting can be incorporated with the material, allowing lighting to transmit through the concrete when desired (e.g., lighting an outdoor courtyard at night from below the LiTraCon). LiTraCon is claimed to offer the same strength as traditional concrete. LiTraCon is likely to target the commercial and industrial markets once the concrete panel manufacturing process has been optimized.
Hungary - EU
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