Friday, April 12, 2024

The load-bearing glass blocks isolate the building thanks to the dielectric antenna

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Glass bricks and air insulation – credit: impa

The aerated glass block has achieved thermal performance and resistance among the highest levels ever achieved

( – Working and living in a well-lit environment with natural light undoubtedly improves the mood. Until now, this role was reserved for windows or glass walls, but what if buildings were built with full glass walls without compromising stability or insulation? Can change course thanksbuffer antenna Entered by Empa’s team of researchers into real researchers Vitrified bearing brick.

From traditional bricks to bricks filled with air insulator

Silica-based insulating aerosols are becoming more and more popular in the construction industry, and are usually used to make insulation layers or plasters. In 2017, Empa researcher Janice Werneri and colleagues in the Department of Building Energy Materials and Components had the idea to embed this insulating antenna directly inside the brick, resulting in a so-called “AerobreakUnlike traditional bricks, this masonry component made it possible to significantly save on heating and construction costs by eliminating the problem of inserting a layer of insulation into the casing.

Now, researchers Wernery, Michal Ganobjak and colleagues have taken it one step further, converting the “Aerobrick” into a transparent, insulating, weight-bearing glass block.

The secret recipe for home isolation

Materials developed by Empa combine float glass With silica aerated gel granules you get a very interesting building element for facades and at the same time able to support the structural weight of the building. During laboratory tests, the glass block filled with the insulating air gel achieved optimal performance thermal conductivity (53 MW/mK) and compressive strength of approximately 45 MPa: among the highest performances ever achieved by a brick. The secret to its insulation lies in the air gap inserted between the layers of glass, a strategy that minimizes heat transfer without compromising light.

Also read aerated cellulose to increase the thermal insulation of windows

A wall built with airtight glass blocks allows the interior environment to have excellent natural light, protected from glare and privacy because it is transparent. The applications are diverse: libraries, galleries, museums, offices and residences, but also places that need maximum illumination while saving space such as densely populated urban areas.

According to the Empa researchers, the glass block filled with insulating airgel would also be very competitive in price. an idea project It was developed with the support of the European Union’s Research and Innovation Program Horizon 2020. The research is published in Construction Engineering Journal (2023).

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Leon Motley
Leon Motley
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