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The future of construction: new materials and technologies

The future of construction: new materials and technologies


Ever since antiquity mankind has been dreaming of the ideal material: something light, energy-intensive, convenient  to use and operate. At the same time it should be beautiful and boast exceptional reliability and longevity indicators and aesthetic qualities. And these materials provided the names of early eras: the stone, bronze and iron ages. Meanwhile today the invention of new substances with the desired properties and the creation of the most complex structures  from such substances has enabled mankind to achieve over a comparatively short period of time significant success in the nuclear and space industries, information technologies, electronics and also construction.


More than 2,000 materials are used in state-of-the-art construction these days - and it is sometimes hard to work out what the underlying products are. However, what are the materials of the future? How do they differ from traditional materials? To answer that question, we review some of the most fascinating and promising developments.



Transparent aluminium


Yes, you read that correctly: scientists have invented such a material: however, its production is expensive and complex – costing almost 5 dollars per square centimetre.


Transparent aluminium. Photo from p4.tabor.ru


Transparent Aluminium Armour or aluminium oxynitride combines aluminium, oxygen and nitrogen. The transparent solid mass is four times harder than fused silica glass.  It can stand in for bulletproof glass or replace glass for pavement lights. The material is scratchproof and blast-resistant and at the same  two times lighter and thinner than ordinary armoured glass. 



Translucent concrete


This material was created by builders and not scientists. Hundreds of thousands of optical fibres are deployed in the structure of the composite material created from high-strength cement, fine marble or granite chip. The end result is a very robust, semi-transparent material, which also lights up.


Translucent concrete. Phot from samstroy.com


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