Today, concrete is the widely used man-made material in construction industries which consumes a considerable amount of coarse aggregate. Globally, for concrete making, we are consuming sand, gravel, and Crushed rock at the rate of 10 to 11 billion tons every year. The concrete itself is not translucent, nor is it any different to conventional concrete. Concrete is one component of a revolutionary new material marketed as “translucent concrete”. This article deals with the usage of translucent concrete in the construction field for different works like construction of floors, pavements & load bearing walls. It is advantageous to use translucent concrete for less power consumption by saving energy with indoor thermal systems by adding optical fibers to balance structure & to maintain its aesthetical view.
Translucent concrete is a concrete based building material with light transmissive properties due to embedded light optical elements usually plastic optical fibers. Those are so effective that virtually there is no loss of light conducted through the fibers by its smaller or thinner layers it allows an increased amount of light to pass through the concrete. Light is conducted through the stone from one end to another. There, for the fibers have to go through the whole object. Depending upon the cross-section of fibers & fiber structure transmissibility of light is defined. Plastic optical fibers are most effective as its core size is 100 times larger compared to other fiber(glass fiber).Such plastic fibers can be installed at low cost with
economical rate. In construction work micro concrete (96%) & plastic fiber (by 4% of its weight of optic fiber) are mixed & casted.
The casted material is then cut into panels & polished. Moreover, concrete & mortar cubes are cast with optical fibers to study the properties & to compare the compressive strength of normal concrete mix with plastic fiber & normal concrete mix with glass fiber. Hence the compressive strength of translucent concrete seen to be increased with the increase in fiber concrete.
Translucent concrete works based on “Nano-Optics”. Optical fibers work as a cylindrical waveguide that transmits light along its axis, by the process of internal reflection. These fibers pass as much light when tiny slits placed directly on top of each other.
Translucent concrete is green building material reducing the lightning cost during daytime also provide both aesthetic appearance and structural stability. It is one of the best applications of optical fibers which is related to technical textiles.