August 17 2008

Litracon: Light-transmitting Concrete

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Litracon is a light-transmitting concrete product able to move light through concrete up to 20 meters thick. The product is composed of roughly 4% optical glass fibers placed parallel within a fine concrete mix. The result in a homogeneous material from exterior surface to center which retains the compressive strength qualities of concrete. The material can be used for interior and exterior walls, pavements, art projects, signage, lighting fixtures and anywhere else a designer's imagination can apply this marvelous material.

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Light, or shadow, activates the material. The parallel optical glass fibers are like tiny pixels on one side of the concrete, conducting any light that strike their ends to the other side of the material. This means that any light source or shadow on the receiving side of the wall is transmitted accurately to the opposite side. People walking, objects, images, text, animations and film are all legible on the opposite side of the wall dematerializing the concrete into lighter more interactive material. Interestingly, the material is true to the color temperature on the light absorbing side.

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Litracon is a wonderful advancement added to the already large catalogue of options available for concrete design. What makes Litracon so unique among the options is that the aesthetic results directly contradict the physical properties of the material. Concrete is strong in compression, weak in tension. Steel is added to aid it in tension, but the material, and designers working in the medium, must adhere to its basic physical properties. Notable designers like Santiago Calatrava, Nervi, and Cecil Balmond are able to stretch the boundaries of what concrete can do, and do many times make it appear free from its constraints, but the material is always bound to its characteristics. What Litracon has done is upend the fundamental property of concrete. Litracon turns a heavy, solid material into a light one and that means a world of new opportunities for designers to create striking architecture.

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For more information please visit the Litracon website.

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August 17th, 2008 at 10:17 PM

Pages tagged "thick"

[...] bookmarks tagged thick Litracon: Light-transmitting Concrete saved by 4 others     seanbedlam bookmarked on 08/17/08 | [...]

February 17th, 2009 at 4:35 PM


Are you sure you ment to say 20 meters thick and not 20 mm thick?

February 17th, 2009 at 4:47 PM



February 18th, 2009 at 2:26 PM


Kindly advise how the glass fibres can be used for cast in situ concrete walls. your prsentation shows only solid concrete blocks.

February 19th, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Gerry Bongon

Ingenious and really interesting. Hope to be able to market these to our locality.

February 25th, 2009 at 4:40 PM


Unfortunately this is a bit pointless in buildings which are subject to Part L of the Building Regulations as the concrete would need to be covered in insulation.

March 2nd, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Amazing Light Transmitting Concrete [PICS]

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June 1st, 2009 at 4:09 AM

Greenline Litracon Light transmitting Concrete | My Site

[...] Greenline Litracon Light transmitting Concrete Posted by root 30 minutes ago ( Litracon is a light transmitting concrete product able to move light through concrete up to 20 post a comment or leave a trackback trackback url Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Greenline Litracon Light transmitting Concrete [...]