Saturday, July 13, 2024

Revolutionary ‘Glass Brick’ with Unprecedented Insulation Unveiled by Swiss Scientists

A breakthrough in construction materials has been achieved by a team of Swiss scientists from the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Science and Technology (Empa) and the Slovak University of Technology. The researchers have developed a groundbreaking aerogel glass brick that promises to revolutionize the construction industry with its exceptional insulation capabilities.

The key innovation lies in the use of silica aerogel granules to create a translucent and thermally insulating material. This aerogel glass brick not only offers an aesthetically pleasing solution that enhances visual comfort but also has the potential to significantly reduce lighting and HVAC energy demands without the need to increase insulation layer thickness.

Empa researcher Jannis Wernery and his team highlighted the extraordinary properties of their creation, stating, “This is the highest insulating performance of any brick found in the technical literature, let alone on the market. Additionally, it comes with the property of light transmission.” The applications of this remarkable material extend to spaces requiring high daylight penetration, glare protection, and privacy preservation, such as offices, libraries, and museums.

Aerogel, renowned for its lightweight and insulating properties, has been a sought-after material in various fields, including insulation for buildings and space technology applications by NASA. The journey of integrating aerogel into building construction began for Empa researchers in 2017 when they introduced the concept of the “aerobrick,” a brick filled with aerogel.

This glass brick innovation joins a growing list of alternative construction materials challenging traditional choices like concrete. Ferrock, a more durable and eco-friendly material than concrete, has gained attention. In England, researchers have developed Sugarcrete, a brick made from bagasse, a sugarcane byproduct, offering an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative.

Additionally, invasive seaweed, sargassum, has been transformed into bricks for hurricane-proof homes, while mycelium bricks made from mushroom fibers found in agricultural waste are emerging as a sustainable core material for future buildings. The construction industry is witnessing a transformative shift towards innovative, environmentally conscious materials, with the aerogel glass brick leading the way in redefining insulation standards.

Source: thecooldown.com

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