Two researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV, have designed and patented a new product that promises to revolutionize construction and other sectors. This is HTRANS, a pioneering translucent concrete.
Translucent concrete.allows designs printed in 3D with a transparent resin to be incorporated inside it, and thus to create façades, paving, etc. à la carte.”Any design we can imagine can be 3D-printed and incorporated into the façade construction process.
With HTRANS we can create structures including ground-breaking images, in many different shapes: from the logo of our company to a reproduction of a work of art, a person’s face or the skyline of a city. We can also include luminous devices, such as LEDS, to illuminate the structure,” says José Ramón Albiol, a professor at the School of Building Engineering of the Universitat Politècnica de València.
All this, at a much lower cost than conventional translucent concrete. Translucent concrete is not a new thing, but it has to be handcrafted, which has a direct impact on its high final cost.”This is where one of the main advantages of HTRANS lies. What makes our invention stand out is the inclusion of the 3D-printed transparent resin parts inside the concrete.
Thanks to this, and to the use of filaments other than optical fiber, we can automate production and significantly reduce production time, which translates into a saving in the final cost of the product of about 80%,” says Miguel Sánchez, a professor at the Department of Computing Engineering (DISCA) of the Universitat Politècnica de València.
HTRANS also incorporates reinforcement elements of different thicknesses that guarantee the strength of the concrete parts. “The parts printed in 3D with the design that we want to be seen also incorporate an internal substructure, which ensures the structural rigidity of the part,” adds José Ramón Albiol.
Translucent Concrete or Light-transmitting Concrete, is a concrete based building material with light-transmissive properties due to embedded light optical elements — usually optical fibers. Light is conducted through the stone from one end to the other. Therefore, the fibers have to go through the whole object. This results in a certain light pattern on the other surface, depending on the fiber structure. Shadows cast onto one side appear as silhouettes through the material. Wikipedia