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iNow
Post  Post subject: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:13 am
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I thought this was really cool:


http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/design- ... rough/1366

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Developed by Hungarian architect Aron Losonczi, LiTraCon (Light Transmitting Concrete) is the world’s first commercially available transparent concrete. The translucent material is created by combining concrete and thousands of optical fiber strands that act like aggregate. The optical fibers form a matrix between the two main surfaces of concrete block, connecting and directing light between the two block faces.

The fibers are oriented in a parallel pattern which produces a brighter side and a darker side of the block. The darker side reveals dramatic shadows and silhouettes. Making up just 4% of the total volume of the block, the optic fibers give the material a striated texture. The product is handmade, resulting in a unique pattern of light in each piece.

Since the optical fibers don’t suffer loss of light, the LiTraCon blocks can theoretically transmit light up to a thickness of 65 feet. The blocks of thicker dimensions could be used in load bearing structures since the glass fibers do not negatively affect the compressive strength of concrete.


Image

Image




What would you build with it?

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:48 am
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Most concrete structures have rebar in them, which might affect the way the fibers orient themselves when the concrete is poured. Also, a statement like "the compressive strength is not affected" requires a lot of qualification before it is used in structures.

I think its use might be limited to novelty architectural features. After all, what would be the point of a translucent elevator/stairwell core in a building?

Sorry to be such a bore.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:12 am
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i wouldn't mind building a see-through blast furnace
ask any metallurgist what their ideal blast furnace would be like, and the answer is likely to be "a glass one" - but failing that translucent concrete might just do the job of seeing what's really happening inside the furnace

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:12 pm
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Blast furnaces are lined with refractory brick, not standard concrete. Refractories are made of blends of silica and alumina; the higher the alumina the higher the temperature it can withstand. High silica refractories cannot handle really high temperatures - they melt which is what I would guess would happen to the glass filaments in translucent concrete.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:20 pm
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i'm very much aware of the impossibility of either a glass or a translucent concrete blast furnace
but then again, one can only dream

imagine if someone could back up all those material flow models with visual confirmation, they would make a bomb selling that knowledge

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DrRocket
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:31 pm
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The rare book library at Yale was, many years ago, built with translucent walls, stone as I recall, to avoid deleterious effects of direct lighting on very old books.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:25 am
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So, you envision potential use in an archive of some sort? Like the Vatican library, maybe?

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jimmydasaint
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:01 pm
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I wonder if you can use this concrete as a 'test bed' for determining areas of stress in a trial setting. For example if you hold up a motorway/highway bridge with a pillar of this concrete, can the light emission profile cause you to see common faults in the concrete under certain traffic conditions on a continuous basis? Just a random thought...

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:19 am
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Hmmm... but how would it handle bagels? :D

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:28 am
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If there were a market for transparent toasters someone would have made one out of glass already. Oh - wait....
Image

http://theawesomer.com/magimix-glass-toaster/37445/


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Ascended
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:05 am
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I think designers are always looking for something new and this is just their way of pushing the envelope, I remember a few years back where all the designers had seemingly latched on to the same idea of natural materials and you've never seen so many earth or rock textured products come out at the same time. But as for the use of glass it's just the same sort of fad that will quickly pass. As for actually building from translucent concrete yes brilliant, think that would be a great idea, save a small fortune in building costs, where window, patio doors, conservatries and skylights are concerned.

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imp
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:58 am

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A most illuminating idea! Um.....sorry. I could not resist.

Really is a good idea. Wonder how strong the stuff is? Perhaps they could employ it in airport security, to give the traveler confidence in their searching and viewing tendencies.

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seagypsy
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:57 pm
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I think the outer walls of a night club would be ideal for the translucent cement blocks. It would help people determine just how crowded the place is before bothering to enter. I wouldn't mind using them on parts of my house but I would keep a laser light show targeted at the wall, especially during the holiday season.

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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Sat May 28, 2016 5:25 am
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Quote:
the glass fibers do not negatively affect the compressive strength of concrete.

I suspect that's true. We reinforce concrete/cement products with steel rebar, wire, and fiberglass. Concrete containing a continuous range of aggregate and mesh sizes is stronger than simpler mixes e.g. sand plus large uniformly sized stones yields really weak concrete. These optical fibers fill the gap between wire and (usually chopped) fiberglass. SO if used properly they should improve compressive strength.

Anyway they surely add shear strength, which is where most concrete applications need help.

So my answer to "What would you build with translucent concrete?" : Almost anything, even hidden or painted. Maybe time to revisit ferro-cement ship hulls. Glass doesn't rust.


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Robittybob1
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Sat May 28, 2016 6:04 am

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What would happen if the concrete was twisted through 180 degrees so that the image transmitted was upside down. I think that could be a fun experience to see masses of people walking past all being inverted. The wall could not be made from bricks but would need to be one large slab. Rotating the top surface wrt the bottom would only work for a circular slab.
If the fibres were in place (pre-twisted) and the "concrete" substrate flowed in around the fibres maybe a rectangular block could be constructed.


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Robittybob1
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Sat May 28, 2016 7:34 am

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Robittybob1 wrote:
What would happen if the concrete was twisted through 180 degrees so that the image transmitted was upside down. I think that could be a fun experience to see masses of people walking past all being inverted. The wall could not be made from bricks but would need to be one large slab. Rotating the top surface wrt the bottom would only work for a circular slab.
If the fibres were in place (pre-twisted) and the "concrete" substrate flowed in around the fibres maybe a rectangular block could be constructed.

They would be moving in the opposite direction as well.


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GiantEvil
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:42 pm
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Heres an interesting bit of concrete tech; http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-created-living-concrete-that-repairs-itself?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:09 am
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What a cool idea. Bacteria FTW!

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:14 am
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That's genius.

But - would the bacteria be capable of mutating to a pathogenic form able to survive at neutral pH?

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GiantEvil
Post  Post subject: Re: What would you build with translucent concrete?  |  Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:54 pm
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Rory wrote:
That's genius.

But - would the bacteria be capable of mutating to a pathogenic form able to survive at neutral pH?

I suspect you're the most qualified here to answer that question.
It seems the bacteria spends most of its time dormant. With few generations I
suspect a low probability for mutation.

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