Monday March 15, 2004

LitraCon

What will they think of next?

(Well, actually, I'm still waiting for transparent aluminum, ala Star Trek. Still... this is pretty cool stuff!)

litraconThe days of dull, grey concrete could be about to end. A Hungarian architect has combined the world’s most popular building material with optical fiber from Schott to create a new type of concrete that transmits light.

A wall made of “LitraCon” allegedly has the strength of traditional concrete but thanks to an embedded array of glass fibers can display a view of the outside world, such as the silhouette of a tree, for example.

“Thousands of optical glass fibers form a matrix and run parallel to each other between the two main surfaces of every block,” explained its inventor Áron Losonczi. “Shadows on the lighter side will appear with sharp outlines on the darker one. Even the colours remain the same. This special effect creates the general impression that the thickness and weight of a concrete wall will disappear.”

The hope is that the new material will transform the interior appearance of concrete buildings by making them feel light and airy rather than dark and heavy.

[cf. Concrete casts new light in dull rooms, March 11, 2004, optics.org. ]

I've worked in some of those concrete buildings (without many windows). I'm looking forward to the changes this product will make in public buildings and workplaces!

The first mass produced LiTraCon© products are expected to come on the market at the end of this year (2004).

LitraCon ( in category Noteworthy ) - posted at Mon, 15 Mar, 10:35 Pacific | «e»