The aim of the paper is to investigate different techniques used by some companies nowadays involvedin the production of panels or blocks made of translucent cement. For doing that, the patents registeredall over the world starting from the 2000 have been studied in deep, in order to acquire more detailedinformation about the techniques of production and to overcome the limits due to the lack of informationabout this subject that is difficult to find in literature. Particularly, patents by LitraConTM, Luccon, Lucem,Italcementi have been investigated; these last four industries are, at the moment, the only ones able tomake in Europe translucent cement elements by using different techniques and materials. The translucentcement is certainly one of the most meaningful inventions of the XX century: an innovative material withgreat application potentialities in Architecture that are limited, at the present, from the costs of thematerials used as components and from the complexity of the productive techniques. Really, theinnovation is not due to the materials with which the translucent cement is made of (concrete and opticsfibres in the “original recipe”concrete and plastic elements in the more recent recipes) but to the newperformance that their composition allows to have, especially in relationship to the classes of demandsrelated to the “aspect” and the “safety” of buildings, with obvious relapses on the management andon the comfort of their inner spaces. The light, through the optics fibres or the plastic elements, crossesthe concrete panels/blocks allowing them to become translucent and to delineate the profile of objectsand people postponed. Translucent concrete is generally used to make coverings, sinks or objects ofDesign like lamps; only in the Italian Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo it has been used to build thebuilding envelope by finding, in this way, the celebrity in the world of Architecture even if, in order tosee it diffusedly applied in buildings, it will probably need to still wait a lot. The production techniquespatented up to now are very different and they have been adopted by different firms that have introduceda variety of product’s typologies on the market. These typologies are related to the dimensions of theelements blocks and/or panels, the performance especially related to the mechanical resistance, thelight transmission, the thermal isolation, the costs. Deriving from the analysis of the patents that havebeen found in the EPO’s website in relation to the European firms that operate in the building market apanning of these techniques of production is showed in this paper.
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|