The undeniable advancement and anticipation in each of the industries, be it entertainment, ornament, construction, food, textile, etc. has taken the creativity and discoveries to enormous levels of potential. Today, the scenario shows as if nobody wants to repeat the mundane activity, material, or for that matter idea origin itself. Today, as a budding architect, one must know the material palette of the infrastructure industry. The ever adding and developing a list of materials must be revised by architects to make hay in the prospective world.
Here are the five extravagant and very unique construction materials architects must know:
- Light-generating cement: Witnessing cement in the twenty-first century is way different than how it was in the past. It is introduced as a binding material in the construction of an array of monuments in history. Today the scenario has shifted drastically. The scope and multitude of ideas of cement as a building material are akin to the enhancement of minds, creativity, and development. Portland cement is the main ingredient in concrete mixed with the other elements like fine and coarse aggregates, fly ash, etc. in vivid proportions to enhance the quality in terms of its properties. The crucial properties like durability, time constraints, and reduction of the heat generation in the process of curing. In terms of usage, today, industries are looking for energy efficiency reusability and sustainability. These concepts have paved paths in the construction business too. Concrete is the second most largely used material after water. Which states the fact that is well established and sought after. But there is always some space of improvisations and improvements by manipulating the admixtures to achieve the desired compound. One such researched compound is the phosphorescent cement that generates illumination on the highways, walkways, and buildings without any traces of electricity. The elimination of crystallization was made possible which made way for the passage of light through the opaque fabric of the material. Hence it absorbed solar energy during the day time and emitted fluorescent light back to the environment at night. Truly a wonder of the energies of the world.
- Bricks of cigarette butt: In the quest to solve a major issue of disposal and dumping of cigarette butts, these bricks have come in force to a large extent. These bricks comprise a mixture of the butts and the traditional brick making compound. This makes the brick lighter, a better insulator, and reduces the household heating cooling costs. These bricks are an environmentally friendly product. The addition of butts depends on the purpose of the brick, overuse may cause a reduction in dry density and compressive strength.
- Mycelium: An organic fungus, mycelium is compostable and biodegradable. This fragile, fibrous fungus is combined with other low valued products like crop wastes of corn husks, mushroom, timber, etc. and used in the form of bricks. These bricks are further assembled to make the state of the art infrastructure. This proves reliable due to the outstanding performance and properties of the specially formulated fungus. It has the strength of industry level, non-toxic, and durable to resist water, fire, and mold. The brick blocks are disassembled and bio cycled into the earth for better soil quality for farming, gardening, etc. this depicts the low impishness of this product on the environment. This product has a huge potential and demand as it is very easy to work with. It is widely available due to mycelium’s ability to regenerate.
- Carbon fiber fabric: Also called graphite fiber, carbon fiber is available in thin long strands interwoven together, giving a tough competition to steel, due to its astounding properties of strength, stiffness, and load-bearing capacity. This material is chemically stable, considerably resistant to fire and a good conductor of electricity, and has great thermal conductivity. It is used as reinforcements as well.
Carbon fiber fabric works best with structures receiving high impact loads. Another advantage of it is that it reduces the extra cost of anchoring and installation.
- Translucent wood: Wood substituted with a plastic polymer, this fresh invention has marked its way up in the industry today. This material involves a process of lignin extraction from the cell walls of the plant juxtaposed with the polymer to form a compound called the translucent wood. It has precise transparency of 85 %.
This material is affordable and available in abundance. It has the dynamic properties of resistance as well as helpful for the solar cells.
Wood, for generations, has been preferred over materials like glass and plastic. This translucent wood has finally established its position amongst its transparent glass-like materials. Wood generally has a lower thermal conductivity that eventually helps the interiors of the building to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the time and achieve higher energy efficiency. Wood is mechanically strong, tough, and low in density. It is at par as far as the requirements are concerned and stands one step ahead of the counterpart glass.