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Litracon Article · August 2018 


All content following this page was uploaded by Shreyas Krishnappa on 19 September 2018. The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.Shreyas.K / International Journal of New Technologies in Science and Engineering Vol. 5, Issue. 6, 2018, ISSN 2349-0780 

Available online @ www.ijntse.com 41 


Shreyas.K 1 

1Asst professor 

Dept of Civil engineering 

Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India 



Transparent concrete is the new type of concrete introduced in modern era which carries special property of light transmitting due to presence of glass rods or optical fibres & is also known as translucent concrete or light transmitting concrete. It is lighter than conventional concrete having special features such as low density and thermal conductivity with main advantage of reduction in dead weight, faster building rate in construction, lower haulage & handling cost. Light is transmitted from one surface of the brick wall to the other due to glass rods along the overall width of the wall which allows light to pass through. An optical glass fibre (or optical fibre) is a flexible, transparent fibre made of glass (silica) or plastic, slightly thicker than a human hair & can function as waveguide, or “light pipe” to transmit light between the two ends. Main aim of the study is to design translucent concrete blocks with the use of glass rods & optical fibres with sand & cement then analyse their various physical & engineering properties with respect to conventional concrete blocks by adding glass rods & optical fibres of 1%, 2 %, 3 % 4 % 5% of concrete mix weight at 1.5 cms spacing respectively. 

From the study, it can be concluded that there is 5% to 10% increase in initial compressive strength for 7 days & also 10% to 15% increase in initial compressive strength for 28 days to a glass rod & optical fibres mix of 3% Whereas the initial & final characteristic compressive strength gradually decreases with an increase in glass rods in the concrete mix. 

KEY WORDS: Transparent concrete, Workability, Compressive strength, Tensile strength, Flexural strength


Translucent lightweight Concrete is a new material with various applications in the construction field, architecture, decoration and even in furniture industry. In today’s time where whole of the research is concentrated towards non utilization of natural resources as much as possible and to reduce its consumption which are decreasing with time, Lightweight LiTraCon ("Lightweight light transmitting concrete") is a lightweight translucent concrete building material made of fine concrete embedded with up to 5% by weight of concrete mix which are impregnated inside the concrete cubes so that light can be transmitted from the outside in or inside out of the building. Due to great economic growth, urbanization, population growth, space utilization worldwide, there is drastic change in concrete technology. Most of the big buildings are built close to each other all in the same areas like sky scrapers There arises one of biggest problem in deriving natural light in building due obstruction of nearby structures. When buildings are stacks closed to each other, there is not much natural sunlight passing through it. 

A wall made of "Light LitraCon" has the strength of traditional concrete and an embedded array of glass rods that can display a view of the outside world. Thousands of optical glass rods or optical fibres form a matrix and run parallel to each other between the two main surfaces of every blocks where in which Shadows on the lighter side will appear with sharp outlines on the darker one. An optical glass fibre is a flexible transparent fibre made of glass (silica) or plastic, slightly thicker than a human hair & is a three layered cable made up of Buffer coating, cladding and core with transmits light through the core of optical fibres. Where as the glass rods are having the diameter of 0.5mm Shreyas.K / International Journal of New Technologies in Science and Engineering Vol. 5, Issue. 6, 2018, ISSN 2349-0780 

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which are layered inside the fine aggregate concrete for allowing the light to pass through the other side. 

Benefits of optical glass rods & fibres. 

Glass is a non-crystalline amorphous solid that is often transparent and has widespread practical technological and decorative usage in many things. Glass has many useful properties. Optical fibres generally work as a hollow cylindrical waveguide which transmits light along its axis, by the principle of total internal reflection as shown in the optical fibre strands. 

1. It is transparent & One can see through it to the other side. 

2. Strong & hard which can bear lot of load on it. 

3. It is impermeable. It does not allow water or other liquid to pass through and it doesn’t get soggy or stained itself. 

4. User friendly- The glass rod is durable, UV protected & there is nothing to break or burn out, virtually maintenance free. 

5. It is transparent, strong & hard with impermeable characteristics which does not allow water or other liquid to pass through it. 


The concrete specimen are produced by reinforcing optical fibres with various percentages and is compared with normal conventional concrete, the material used for this concrete are cement(53 grade), sand(2.36 mm sieve passing), optical fibre cables 200 micron diameter with fine cement concrete mix ratio for this concrete is 1:2 and water cement ratio is 0.45. The result of this experimental investigation shows that the compressive strength of light transmitting concrete was ranging between 20 - 23N/mm2 with optical fibre specimens which indicates that it satisfies the compressive strength requirements for M20 grade concrete and also we can conclude that the 

transparency of light is possible in concrete without affecting its compressive strength [1]. 

Investigations have been done to develop the building with increase in aesthetic value by modern construction techniques and also consumption of energy by eco-friendly way. The main purpose is to use sunlight as a light source to reduce the alternate power consumption by using optical fibres to sense the stresses of structures and also as an architectural purpose for good aesthetical view of the building. They conclude that the fibres will not loose the strength parameter when compared to regular conventional concrete which can integrate the concept of green energy saving with the usage self-sensing properties of functional material [2]. 

The light guiding performance of concrete materials is completely determined by the internal POFs area ratio and the surface roughness in certain sections. POF based transparent concrete could be regarded as an art which could be used in museums and specific exhibitions rather than just a construction material [3]. 

When a solid wall is imbued with the ability to transmit light, it means that a home can use fewer lights in their house during daylight hours & also it has very good architectural properties for giving good aesthetical view to the building. Energy saving can be done by utilization of transparent concrete in building which is totally environment friendly because of its light transmitting characteristics & therefore energy consumption can be reduced. The major disadvantage is translucent concrete is very costly because of the optical fibres used for construction & casting of transparent concrete block is difficult & special skilled person is required [4]. 

The physio-chemical properties of coir pith in relation to particle size suitable for potting medium. Coir pith, light to dark brown in colour, consists primarily of particles in the size range 0.2–4 mm. The physio-chemical properties of coir pith was investigated after grading it based on particle size (100μm to 2000μm) for the use as potting medium. The porosity, density and absorptivity decreased as the particle size increased. Ph of raw coir pith was found to be acidic in nature but as the particle size increased, the pH also became alkaline. The electrical conductivity was observed to be high in lower grades of coir pith (4.41 mS / cm) which gradually decreased as the size increased (3.32 mS / Shreyas.K / International Journal of New Technologies in Science and Engineering Vol. 5, Issue. 6, 2018, ISSN 2349-0780 

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cm). The salt analysis made on coir pith did not show any significant change according to particle size [5]. 


1. Materials 

a. Ordinary Portland Cement of 53 Grade. 

b. Manufactured Sand of pertaining Sieve size (<4.75mm) as per IS standards. 

c. Glass Rods 0.5 mm in Diameter are used for casting transparent concrete. 

d. 200 μ Diameter Optical fibre Strands are used for casting translucent concrete. 


2. Methodology 


Preliminary tests were conducted on the normal conventional concrete materials as per IS standards & specifications for its physical & engineering properties, cubes were casted in the standard metallic moulds & vibrated to obtain the required sample size of specimen. The moulds were cleaned initially and oiled on all the sides before concrete sample is poured in to it. Thoroughly mixed concrete is poured into the moulds in three equal layers and compacted using vibrating table for a small period of 5 minutes. The excess concrete is removed out of the mould using trowel and the top surface is finished with smooth surface. 

The manufacturing process of transparent concrete is same as of the regular conventional concrete blocks with the Only change is glass rods & optical fibres are spread throughout the fine aggregate and cement mix & Small layers of the concrete are poured on top of each other and infused with the rods in the wooden casted box. Light transmitting concrete is produced by adding 1%, 2%, 3%, 4% & 5% of glass rods & optical fibres by weight into the concrete mixture, the translucent concrete mixture is made from fine aggregate materials only & does not contain coarse aggregates whereas optical fibres are woven together instead of single filaments. 

Glass rods and oven optical fibres with concrete are alternately inserted into moulds at an intervals of approximately 1.5cm spacing & the casted materials are cut into small panels or blocks of the specified thickness finally the surface is typically polished resulting in semi-gloss to high-gloss surface finish. 

After 24 hours the samples of both normal conventional concrete & translucent concrete were demoulded and put in curing tank for the respective periods of 7, 14 and 28 days strength with a set of 5 samples were prepared for each stage of curing. The temperature of curing tank was maintained about 25 degree during the analysis of characteristic strength & the results were tabulated. 

The main aim of the methodology is to- 

  • • To calculate the compressive strength of M25 grade plain concrete & translucent concrete by laboratory experiments as per IS specifications. 
  • • To calculate the Split tensile strength of M25 grade plain concrete & translucent concrete by laboratory experiments as per IS specifications. 
  • • To calculate the Flexural strength of M25 grade plain concrete & translucent concrete by laboratory experiments as per IS specifications. 


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