The 2010 Expo in Shanghai is showcasing some fantastic designs in pavilions. If you haven’t already noticed the peculiar aspects of this Italian pavilion yet, look at the grey shady parts of the building. That right there…yep, that’s transparent cement.
Each concrete block measures 100 x 50 x 5cm. About 40% of Italy’s pavilion is covered by using 3,774 blocks. Italcementi Group, an Italy-based cement maker, developed the transparent cement which was used to build the pavilion Although the Italian group of men haven’t fully disclosed what was put into the mixture to make the cement, they did say that it had transparent thermoplastic resin and inorganic materials such as alumina which can become solid without the use of water. The block is said to transmit 20 % of the light it captures from lights, etc.
Germany also has a pavilion made with some transparent concrete blocksĀ but the Italian group said “Our transparent cement is much superior (to their transparent concrete) in terms of cost and strength.”
This is the demonstration of the “Lucem”. It’s the concrete that is made with optical fibers which is exhibited in Germany’s pavilion. Theirs was developed by Robatex GmbH of Germany. When a strong light is shone from behind the block the light will go through because of optical fibers contained in the cement.