In this article, I would be touching upon the various materials which are unique and innovative used for construction...
Innovative building materials to transform the construction industry:
1. Self-Healing Materials:
It refers to any kind of material that can recover by itself from harm from any external source or stimulus by adding a few substances. Some examples of the same would be:
a. Self-Healing Concrete
Concrete is one of the most widely used substances for any kind of construction procedure. However, it is a product in which cracks can occur over a period of time which need to be repaired. This involves an additional cost of materials and labour. Thus, to mitigate this problem, self-healing concrete is made by adding alkaliphilic bacteria into the concrete
2. Strand Rods
Earthquakes are an unfortunate fact of life. If of a high magnitude, they cause immense and massive damage uprooting entire civilizations. However, this damage can be controlled, by using strand rods.
So, what exactly is a 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 fibre composite. They are five times lighter than the metal wire, look attractive and act as a good seismic reinforcement.
3.Passive Cooling Ceramics/ Hydro-ceramics
The heat and temperature of the earth are increasing due to various reasons, one of them being global warming. One of the main causes of global warming is using Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs are found in air conditioners, refrigerators, air fresheners, and deodorants might be few to name. Thus, to avoid excessive use of air conditioners a substitute coolant may be available in the form of hydro ceramics.
Hydro ceramics have the ability to reduce indoor room temperature by almost 6 degree Celsius. Water collects in the hydrogel droplets that are embedded in the clay composite. As the building heats up, heat is transferred to the water and then lost to evaporation.
It is a stronger type of concrete which uses Sulphur as the main ingredient. It doesn't require water as an ingredient, therefore, it can also help to save water. In order to make the Martian concrete, Sulphur is heated at 240° Celsius which melts it into a liquid. It can be recycled by heating it and used repeatedly. Further, it is also relatively easy to handle and cheaper compared to other materials of the like.
5.The light generating cement/ Luminous cement
During the day, this kind of cement absorbs solar energy during the day and can emit it during the night for a period of almost 12 hours! It can act as a light bulb especially during the night with a wide range of applications in swimming pools, like parking lights or road safety signs.
6. Pollution absorbing bricks/ Breathe Bricks
The functioning of this brick is similar to that of a vacuum cleaner. It consists of two layers- specialist bricks on the outside and standard insulation on the inside. In wind tunnel tests, the system was found to filter 30% of fine particles (such as airborne pollutants) and 100% of coarse particles such as dust.
7. Carbon Fiber Balsa
It provides high strength, shear and tensile to the material. Balsa wood is lightweight; thus, it is quite expensive to produce. Carbon Fiber Balsa wood can easily replace it, by using a honeycomb-like structure which could be cheaper and also eliminate the problem of irregularity of grains in the wood.
8. Translucent Wood
Translucent wood is created by removing the lining in the wood followed by nanoscale tailoring. This material can be used effectively for making windows and it acts as a more resistant material than glass with approximately 85% of transparency.
It can be used for bridges or even on pre-cast sections, columns, repair pipes and the like. Self-consolidating concrete is a highly flowable type of concrete that spreads into the form without the need for mechanical vibration. Some of the benefits include- maintaining the durability of the concrete and meeting the expected performance standards, reduction of labour cost, superior strength and durability.
10.Cross Laminated Timber
Cross-laminated timber is made up of pieces of lumber stacked in alternating directions and makes large panels that can support a lot of weight. It has varied applications from being used in walls, roofs, and ceilings. It can also act as a thermal insulator for the house, depending upon the thickness of the material. However, the downside of the material is the high production cost.
11.Cigarette Butts to make Bricks
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? How can something which we treat as trash be treated as an effective building material?
The answer was discovered by the team led by Abbas Mohajerani, who found out that by making clay bricks with 1% of their volume being cigarette butts could make the bricks lighter as well as improve its functioning.
In recent times, every person is becoming more cautious about their carbon footprint on the earth. Thus, to minimize our harmful impact on the earth, many architects are now using waste materials such as scrap metal, cardboard, and even plastic bottles to create new buildings with smaller carbon footprints.
13.Synthetic Spider Silk
The silk of the spider has some impressive characteristics. It is believed to be stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar. Further, it is also flexible, which allows it to stretch more than its length before it becomes breakable.
The lab-made fibres are created from a material called a hydrogel, which is 98 per cent water and 2 per cent silica and cellulose, the latter two held together by cucurbiturils, molecules that serve as “handcuffs.” The silica and cellulose fibres can be pulled from the hydrogel. After 30 seconds or so, the water evaporates, leaving behind only the strong, stretchy thread.
The buildings and structures of Rome have stood strong and erect for many years so far. So, their building materials must have had some unique composition. Unlike using modern concrete, they used a mortar mix of volcanic limestone, which reacts to form crystals that expand into space within the concrete more effectively. This also reduces the risk of the concrete cracking over a period of time and extending the life of the concrete. This type of concrete is a stronger and a greener alternative to modern concrete.
This was a list of new and innovative materials which are transforming the construction industry today, providing with an eco-friendly solution to our problems. Thus, helping us to reduce our biological footprint on the earth by doing our bit and creating a greener and safer world for our future generations.