From a building material that used to be just covered up to one what is now central to design, concrete has come a long way. In its latest iteration, commercial concrete lights up.
Using fiber optic material embedded in the concrete, the material takes on a translucent appearance when light is applied to the fibers. Many different color effects and patterns can be made with the technique.
The actual material, called light transmitting concrete, is made using a fine mix of concrete free of coarse aggregate. Layers of concrete are alternated with woven optic fiber material to form a panel, which is then cut to size. When light is shined onto the exposed ends of the fiber optic material, it travels with little loss to the other end of the fiber illuminating the strands along the way.
While not a new idea, its practical use is now expanding as materials and processes to produce this type of concrete.
Art And Beyond
The technology is still being developed and is still largely used for display pieces of even simple furniture. While the early adoption of the product comes in the form of accent pieces in overall design, there are bigger applications it could one day provide.
One of the demonstrated uses for the product was a lighted sidewalk. Other uses could include a more efficient way to light subway stations or for use in emergencies to light hallways and stairwells when the power goes out.
There are currently several companies producing commercially available products.
Del Zotto Products specializes in precast concrete forms and products mostly used in construction and water control, but we love all things concrete.
We offer all your precast commercial concrete needs from ready-made products to the forms and materials needed for you to make you own precast products. For information, contact us today.