INTRODUCTIONIn the lastfew decades there are lot of modifications made in concrete by Engineers andArchitects by adding materials or changing the ratio of the ingredients whichvaries the strength, texture and other major factors but the basic componentsof concrete remained the same which are still used to make the dry mix, the threebasic components which are used to make concrete are cement, water andaggregates both coarse and fine. (S McGillivray, 2011)As we allknow concrete is greyish in colour and can be altered by changing the ratios ofthe basic components which results in different grades of concrete such as M15,M20, M25, M30 etc. The most common and used grade is M25. Also engineers overthe years are continuously experimenting with concrete by adding someingredients and one such ingredient is admixture which by adding can change thecolour, time of drying, concrete’s consistency etc. which helps them to createcertain products and translucent concrete is one of them. (S McGillivray, 2011) Nowadaysmarket is so changed and there are various improvements in technology thateveryone wants to take benefit of this technology. As we all know the height ofbuildings are increasing as compared to few decades ago and most of the areas suchas the metropolitan cities are covered with huge building, skyscrapers.
Therefore translucent concrete comes into the role by providing light in thenight time as light saving is the main issue from long time now.Translucentconcrete is that concrete which has light transmitting properties because ofthe optical fibre which is embedded in it. The main purpose to introduce suchmaterial is to save power consumption and also the embedded optical fibre givesa great aesthetic view to the structures and the buildings looks beautiful.The conceptof translucent concrete was given by an architect from Hungary Aron Losonzi in2001 and the first successful concrete block was named as LitraCon. ( UMBhanuse, 2015) OBJECTIVE The mainobjectives of this project are:· Tomake a dry mix of concrete that transmits light properties.· Savepower consumption and gives an amazing aesthetic view.· Tostudy the potency of cost of the product. (UM bhanuse) SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY· To check if the insertionof optical fibre into concrete will effect or alter the properties of concrete.
· To make theconcrete more appealing by emitting the light on it. (PN Shangavamu)· To understand thetransmittance of the material thus produced which is translucent concrete. (karandikar) METHODOLOGYMATERIALS USED· Portland Cement· Silica fume· Optical Fibre· Colour pigment (UM Bhanuse)MIX PROPORTIONCement- 350 KgSand – 550 KgWater-160 litreFibre- 4.5 kgCement: Sand: Water: Fibre1: 1.6: 0.45: 0.012 (PM Shuvu) MANUFACTURING PROCESSThe manufacturing process oftranslucent concrete is quite similar to the normal concrete as first we makethe dry mix by the standard methods which are used from many years, the dry mixof concrete is made up of cement, water and aggregates (both fine and coarse).
After the dry mix is ready optical fibres are inserted into concrete and arecasted to make a connection between the two. About 4-5 % of optical fibres are addeddepending upon the volume of concrete and the thickness of optical fibre canvary from 2µm to 2mm. (Bhavin k)FIGURE 1: THICKNESS OF OPTICAL FIBRE(PM)After the casting process is completedwith optical fibre placed in concrete, then connects one end of the opticalfibre to a source of light and keeps the other end free which is to be castedagain and be left for curing for about two weeks. After the curing is completedthen we will get a light transmitting concrete which can be used in makingbuildings and structures. ( PM) FIGURE 2: OPTICAL FIBRE (PM) FIGURE 3: PLACING OF FIBRE (PM)FIGURE 4: TRANSMITTION OF LIGHT (PM) After the manufacturing process oftranslucent concrete is completed, then comes how to utilise this product inmaking huge skyscrapers, building and structures.
The usage of translucent concretestarts from the concrete blocks casted. The blocks should be well placed andcasted during the time of construction as it gives both a great aesthetic viewas well as saves power consumption during the day time.There are not many manufacturers oftranslucent concrete and some famous names are LitraCon, Lucon and Lucem Litchbeton.The cost of these different translucent concretes are 1000$ per metre squarefor LitraCon and 595$ for Lucon lamp which is totally worth of the cost as itdoes not disappoint according to the performance.
TESTS CARRIED OUT· COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH TEST- In compressive strength test few moulds aretaken which are made up of wood and in these moulds three cubes of concrete areplaced which are 5*5*5 cm in size and are separated by plates. Also, the thereare maximum number of holes made in the plates for the fibre content to passthrough that. Then these cubes are casted and cured for some days and afterthat these cubes are taken for the test in which they are placed under thecompressive strength testing machine which applies pressure on the cube andwhen the cube starts breaking that point or value is noted down. (Basbash)FIGURE 5: COMPRESSIVE STENGTH TEST(Bashbash)· FLEXURAL STRENGTH TEST – Flexural strength test follows the sameprocedure as compressive strength test but the only difference is thedimensions.
The dimensions of the cube which are used in this test are 4*4*16cm. (Bashbash)FIGURE 6: FLEXURAL STRENGTH TEST(Bashbash) APPLICATIONS· COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS – Translucent concrete on commercial buildingssuch as clubs, restaurants and other social places play a major role as byusing translucent concrete we can easily see the number of people sittinginside and also it can save the power consumption during daytime.· RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS – Translucent concrete in residential buildingshelps in a way that the residents can see who is at the door if the concreteblocks are placed at the wall next to the door. Also if it is placed atstaircase walls, it gets easy for the people during the daytime and at times ofpower cut at night.· TRANSPORTATION – This type of concrete can be used in speedbumps and breakers as the vehicle driver can easily see the bump. Also, it canbe used on sidewalks for the visibility of the pedestrians at the night timewhich will be safer than no light and translucent concrete can also be used forlane markers on highways.· AESTHETIC AND SAFETY- Translucent concrete can be made into verydifferent shapes and can be used as decorative materials.
Also, it can be usedon walls of school, hospitals and institution which can provide a goodaesthetic view and can be helpful with security as well. ( U Bhanuse) ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES· Translucentconcrete can be helpful in areas like museums, prisons and schools in which itcan provide great aesthetic view and can also help in security purposes. · It can save ahuge amount of capital as well as power consumption during the daytime.· It can be usedwhere it is difficult for light to reach.· It isenvironmental friendly because of the properties of transmission of light.· It requiresskilled labour.· It is very costlyas compared to the normal concrete. (Bhavin k, padma bhushan) RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONThe results and conclusion part inthis paper are taken from various papers and their results.
By researching andunderstanding the tests, values are taken from different papers. Concrete cubewas kept for about 28 days and different values were noted down during thatperiod at 7, 14 and 28 days respectively. First after & days of curingresults were noted down and that showed that compressive strength increaseuntil fibre content increased up to 4% but it decreased when fibre content got6%. Also, after 28 days of curing different results came out as compressivestrength decrease when fibre content increase and 28 days of curing resultswere better as compared to 7 days. (bashbash)By using and observing it is concludedthat translucent concrete is more efficient as compared to the traditionalconcrete as it gives more light during daytime with a better aesthetic view andsaves power consumption. Another great advantage of translucent concrete whichis concluded that it reduces the emission of carbon which is the main cause ofgreenhouse effect thus saves the environment as it can lead to various diseasesand problems and Asthma is one of them.
The only drawback is the one timeinvestment cost which is very high and it requires skilled labour but the costcan be covered in few years by its huge advantages. Summarising the abovepoints and seeing the results it is concluded that translucent concrete has ahuge advantage over traditional concrete as it saves energy, gives a betteraesthetic view and also saves a lot of money in the long run. ( U bhanuse)