Light construction materials are the future of construction. Both the construction industry and scientists are constantly on the lookout for ever more energy efficient, strong, environmentally friendly, and light construction materials that can make it possible for us to build safer, stronger, and more eco-friendly buildings in shorter amounts of time. Here are just a few of the newest innovations in light construction materials that will soon become a part of all our building construction.
- Aerographite: hollow tubes of carbon. Aerographite Is an amazing product that was invented in Germany in 2012. It is a tremendously strong material that can also bend and is 75 times lighter than Styrofoam. It can also be compressed to just 95% of its normal area and yet still pop back into its original form without sustaining any damage. Even more than this: the stress of this maneuver will actually make the material stronger! There are many light construction materials that can be compressed, but very few that can stand the tension and none that come out stronger on the other side. The implications that this has for aerospace and even for earthquake resistant construction are enormous.
- Bactera can help make self-healing concrete. Naturally, concrete is some of the most important high-performance construction material we have available today. Insulated concrete and ICF blocks are green building materials that are changing the construction game even as we speak. Yet things are likely to get even better. Concrete is vulnerable to moisture and chemicals that can, over time, seep into tiny fissures within the concrete and make them larger. The Dutch have developed a type of bacteria that can mix into the concrete before it’s poured and protect it from these issues. When water gets into fissures in the concrete, the bacteria comes to life and produces calcite that fills up the crack completely and keeps it from growing and causing any issues with the structural integrity of the concrete.
- Graphene: pure carbon in a honeycomb pattern. Graphene is extremely strong and also extremely thin. It’s flexible, conducts electricity, and can be made so thin that it is almost transparent. Currently, this particular material is being looked at for use in touchscreens, aerospace materials, and transistors, but in the future it may have application to the construction industry as well.
- Light anti-earthquake reinforcement material. There is a new thermoplastic carbon fiber. The Japanese invented it, and it currently goes by the name of CABKOMA Strand Rod. It is basically a carbon fiber that has been covered with fibers, both synthetic and inorganic, and then coated over with a resin made from thermoplastic. It is currently being tested at the headquarters of the company that invented it, and so far it’s proving to be one of the most amazing light construction materials on the market. Expect to see a lot more of this in the very near future.
- Bricks that absorb your pollutants. There are many places in the world where air pollution is a serious issue. Not only are scientists looking for light and eco-friendly construction materials that don’t generate pollution as they are made or installed, but also materials that can help deal with the problems we already have. A professor in California has developed the Breathe Brick, a tiny vacuum cleaner within a strong building brick that is capable of pulling heavy pollution out of the air and dropping it into a hopper at the base of the building. The bricks that make up the building can do this passively or mechanically and then pass the filtered air into the wall and the buildings interior.
We are always on the lookout for light building materials and game-changing home construction materials of any kind. The future will be lighter, faster, and greener than ever before.