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LITRACON Light Transmitting Concrete


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LITRACON Light Transmitting Concrete

  1. 1. LITRACON Light Transmitting Concrete s By ABID ALI 12-NTU-0091
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION • Concrete is one of the world’s widely used building material. • And builders have been using concrete for thousands of years. • Introduction of fiber optics into the concrete mix has given it a new dimension. • Now, it seems as if the days of dull, grey concrete are about to end. • Litracon is a light-transmitting or translucent concrete which is able to move light through concrete up to 20 meters thickness. • It is a strong ,solid material through which light can be easily transmitted. • Light-transmitting concrete can be used in variety of ways.
  3. 3. HISTORY • Litracon was invented by an architect from Hungry, Aron Losonczy. • He saw an art at Budapest, which was made up of ordinary concrete and glass. • From here, he thought of combining the two materials together. • In 2001, successfully a Litracon block was produced. • Aron Losonczy named his invention “LITRACON”, short for light transmitting concrete. • And in 2004, he started a German company named Litracon Bt. and started producing Litracon commercially.
  4. 4. OPTICAL FIBER • Flexible, transparent fiber made up of glass or plastic (as thin as a human hair). • It transmits light between two ends of the fiber by process of total internal reflection. • Optical fiber transmits light so effectively that there is almost no loss of light conducted through the fibers. PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION Optical fiber is made up of three sections: 1) CORE –(carries light signals) thin glass center of fiber where light travels 2) CLADDING –(keeps light in the core) made of a material which has a lower refractive index than the core(for light to pass from the core out through the cladding, it would have to slow down). Instead, the light waves takes the path of least resistance by reflecting only in the core. 3) COATING –(protects the cladding) Plastic coating that protects the fiber from damage.
  5. 5. MANUFACTURING • Concrete mixture is made up of fine materials only, it contains no coarse aggregate. • Strands of optical fibers are cast by thousands into concrete. • Light-transmitting concrete is produced by adding 4% to 5% optical fibers (by volume) into the concrete mixture. • The fibers run parallel to each other. • Thickness of the optical fibers can be varied between 2 μm and 2 mm prefabricated according to the requirements. • The most important requirement for the success of the product is assurance the fiber optic strands make contact with both surfaces; otherwise it looses the ability to transmit. • An uninterrupted passage through the concrete is achieved by using long moulds, which are filled with a thin layer of concrete, before layers of fiber optic strands and more concrete are added until the mould is full. • From the long moulds, the product can be removed, and then cut to length accordingly.
  6. 6. MIXING OF CONCRETE • COMPONENTS OF CONCRETE 1) Epoxy matrix from 0% to 90% 2) Polycarbonate matrix from 0% to 60% 3) Fiberglass from 0% to 10% 4) Colloidal silica sol from 0.5% to 5% 5) Silica from 0.5% to 10% 6) Diethylenetriamine (DETA) from 10% to 50% 7) Optical fibers from 0% to 3% 8) Portland cement from 0% to 15% A manufacturing process for translucent concrete ,comprises of following stages: a)Mixing the cement with water according to specific proportions. b)Mixing the polymer matrices with the respective catalyst or hardener, and c)Mixing the previous two mixtures with the other components in the specific proportions. The ratio of the polymer matrices and the mortar is at least 1.5:1, and the mixing is done manually or mechanically. The epoxy matrix or binder used for the formulation of this concrete is diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA). The setting agent used is diethylenetriamine (DETA).Silica sol functions as a binding agent.
  7. 7. PRODUCTION METHOD 2. In the second step, layer of fibers are arranged in the longitudinal direction of the mould. 1. Firstly, in an elongated mould e.g. steel or wood, concrete mix is added. 2. In the third step, the mould is subjected to a mechanical pressure and/or vibration such that the fiber layer is permitted to sink into the cast material to a desired depth. 3. Then, steps one to three is repeated, alternatively steps two to three, until the mould is filled with the cast material and several fiber layers 4. Each layer constitutes of a plurality of parallel fibers, for example some twenty fibers or more per layer. 5. The thickness of the layer and the fibers may suitably be about 1 mm and the number of layers can be some twenty or more. 6. The fiber layers are fed continuously in the mould from a fiber roll via a nozzle that provides for an even distribution. 7. When the cast material has become solidified, the solid moulded body is divided by cutting into separate building blocks.
  8. 8. PROPERTIES a) Technical specifications • Form: prefabricated blocks / panels • Components: Concrete, Optical fiber • Cast Material: Fiber Ratio: 1:15 to 1:8 • Density: 2100 – 2400 kg/m3 • Compressive strength varying • Bending Strength: 7.7 N/mm2 b) Material performance • Concrete retains its strength • High density top layer concrete • Infused with optical fibers • Frost and de-icing salt resistant. • Fire protection. • Highest UV resistance. c) Environment Impact • When a solid wall has the ability to transmit light, it means that one can use fewer lights during daylight hours.
  9. 9. ADVANTAGES 1) Less energy consumption. 2) Illuminated Pavements. 3) Homogeneous in structure. 4) Finishing Surface. 5) Routine maintenance not required. DISADVANTAGES 1)Very high cost about EUR 1300/m2. 2) Labours with technical skills are needed to use it. 3) It’s a factory product.
  10. 10. APPLICATIONS Litracon building units are applicable in various areas of design. 1. Translucent concrete inserts on front doors of homes, allowing the resident to see when there is a person standing outside. 2. Translucent concrete walls on restaurants, clubs, and other establishments to reveal how many patrons are inside. 3. Ceilings of any large office building or commercial structure incorporating translucent concrete would reduce lighting costs during daylight hours. 4. Sidewalks poured with translucent concrete could be made with lighting underneath, creating lit walkways which would enhance safety, and also encourage foot travel where previously avoided at night. 5. The use of translucent concrete in an outer wall of an indoor stairwell would provide illumination in a power outage, resulting in enhanced safety. 6. Subways using this material could be illuminated with daylight.
  11. 11. EXAMPLES 1) THE EUROPE GATE It is located in Fortress Monostor in the Hungarian town Komarom by the Danube River. The sun illuminates the 37.6ft2 large Litracon piece of the statue in the mornings and late afternoons, and by night an even more impressive view can be seen because of the embedded light sources. THE EUROPE GATE
  12. 12. 2) CELLA SEPTICHORA / PECS, HUNGARY Cella Septichora Visitors Centre in Pécs, Hungary, which has a door made of Litracon Panels set in a steel frame.
  13. 13. 3) MONTBLANC, TOKYO The illuminated interior wall of the new boutique of Montblanc in Tokyo is considered to be the most prestigious project of Litracon up-to-date. Litracon blocks were used as illuminated wall in the new flagship boutique of famous producer of handwriting instruments and jewellery, Montblanc.
  14. 14. CONCLUSIONS • Light transmitting concrete or translucent concrete is an emerging trend in concrete technology. It’s considered as a special concrete which ensures future benefits. • Its initial cost is high. But, routine maintenance is not required and in long run it may be advantageous. • It’s a green building material reducing the lightning cost during day time. It’s proved to provide both aesthetic appearance and structural stability. • LTC blocks can be used to build up to 20m high load bearing walls. •If the price of the product gets reduced, it is sure that the future construction industry will be in the hands of Litracon. • It is one of the best applications of optical glass fibers which isrelated to technical textiles.