Six Innovative Construction Materials

1. Translucent wood as construction material

We now have translucent wood that can be used to develop windows and solar panels. It is created by first, removing the lining in the wood veneer and then through nano scale tailoring. The resulting effect creates translucent wood that has various application in the construction industry.
As a very cheap resource, it can benefit projects by reducing cost of resource.

2. Cooling system in bricks
Through the combination of clay and hydrogel, students at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia have created a new material that has a cooling effect on building interiors.
have the ability to reduce indoor temperature by up to 6 degrees celsius.

Its cooling effect comes from the presence of hydrogel in its structure which absorbs water, up to 500 times its weight. The absorbed water is released to reduce the temperature during hot days.

Incorporating an innovative cooling system in the current building structure has made Hydroceramics into one of the coolest building materials to revolutionize construction. More progress in this direction, may make household air conditioners obsolete.

3. Cigarette butts to make bricks

On a yearly basis, 6 million cigarettes are manufactured and they produce 1.2 million tonnes of cigarette butt waste. The impact on the environment is tremendous. Elements such as arsenic, chromium, nickel and cadmium enter the soil and harm nature.

In order to reduce the impact of cigarette butts on the environment, researchers at RMIT developed lighter and more energy efficient bricks made of cigarette butts. In short, innovatively utilizing waste in a much more eco-friendly manner.
Dr. Abbas Mohajerani, the leading researcher of the project, along with his team discovered that by infusing even 1% of cigarette waste in fired-clay bricks they can have great results in removing pollution from our environment.

Not only does this research help with reducing waste, but the resulting brick is also lighter and requires less energy in manufacturing it.

4. We now have Martian concrete

It’s finally done! We have concrete that can be used to build structures in Mars now. The researching team at the Northwestern University, has created concrete that can be made with the materials available on Mars.

The new concrete also doesn’t require water as an ingredient to be formed. With the scarcity of water as a source, this crucial benefit can make this innovation truly beneficial for the development of structures in Mars.

In order to make the martian concrete, sulphur is heated at 240° celsius which melts it into a liquid. The martian soil then acts as an aggregate and once it cools down we get Martian concrete! According to the researching team, the ratio of martian soil and sulphur needs to be 1:1.

5. Light generating cement

Dr. José Carlos Rubio Ávalos from UMSNH of Morelia, has created cement that has the ability to absorb and irradiate light. With this new light generating cement the potential uses and application of it can be huge.

The construction industry is evolving and one of the main trends is the move towards a more resource and energy efficient way of creating structures. Therefore, the implications of cement acting as a ‘light bulb’ are very broad. We can use them in swimming pools, parking lots, road safety signs and much much more.
The science behind it: Through the process of polycondensation of raw materials such as river sand, industrial waste, silica, water and alkali. The process is done at room temperature which is why the energy usage is low.

In short, we now have smart cement!

6. The CABKOMA strand rod

The Komatsu Seiten Fabric Laboratory, based in Japan has created a new material called the CABKOMA Strand Rod. It is a thermoplastic carbon fiber composite.

The strand is the lightest seismic reinforcement and is very aesthetically pleasing.

A single strand of CABKOMA Strand Rod of 160 meter length weighs only 12 kg which is 5 times lighter compared to a metal rod.
This combined effect creates a plastic furniture that through time combusts. According to Terreform One, this process is low energy, pollution free and requires low technology for the creation.

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