In an era where new inventions and technologies are named starting with “i” because it’s ‘cool’, Italcementi Group brings us i.light, also known as “transparent cement”.
i.light, has dozens of tiny holes in it which lets light through without compromising the structural integrity.
Up close, the 2-3mm gaps make a startling pattern and from certain angles or at a distance appear exactly the same as normal concrete. But on a sunny day inside a building made from the cement, the effect is akin to little more than a light mesh on the wall filtering the light coming in.
So far they have only used it for one building, the Italian pavilion at last year’s Expo in Shanghai, but it has already been suggested it could save electricity that would otherwise be required for daytime lighting. In each transparent panel there are approximately 50 holes, leading to about 20 per cent transparency. The semi-transparent panels were around 10 per cent see-through and were created by ‘modulating the insertion of the resins’.
The cement is currently under patent and it is not yet decided if it would be made available worldwide