Are These the 'Supermaterials' of the Future?
A new exhibition at London's Building Centre is showcasing highly experimental and cutting edge building materials that can already be used to build.
Basalt Fiber Concrete
One of the 'supermaterials' is basalt fiber concrete. The combination of the two types of rock gives concrete the strength and thermal conductivity it wouldn't normally have. It also has a high strength level which could eventually result in the replacement of steel bar in reinforced concrete. Switching the steel bar for basalt fiber would also mean higher strength and durability in areas where corrosion is a problem.
While glass bricks don't seem to have the strength of basalt fiber concrete, they will allow lots of natural light into a home. Since natural light is known to improve the atmosphere of any space, it is not surprising that individuals are pushing the boundaries on ways to incorporate glass into their home.
Since the trend for natural light has risen, individuals have begun to experiement with other materials beside glass bricks to achieve maximum natural light. Researchers discovered that by removing lignin and adding acrylic to wood, the resulting material was twice as strong as Plexiglass and able to trap some natural light.
The material was discovered when researchers at MIT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering configured the graphene into a structure resembling minuscule coral creatures called diatoms. The result was a strong and ultralight material. Researcher Zhao Qin suggests that if the material can be produced in large amounts it may mean substituting some of the steel used for construction and infrastructure. To read more about it, click here.
While claiming it to be the world's strongest may be inaccurate, Braen (pronounced like "brawn") is lightweight, durable and capable of withstanding over 2,000 pounds of pull strength.