June 8, 2023

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A house with these walls will delight you. Scientists have developed bricks with unique properties

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The more windows and natural light you want in your home or apartment, the more privacy you will lose and the higher your heating bills will be. However, this applies not only to windows, but also to “glass bricks”, at least those that are currently on the market, because scientists have just developed unique aerobricks that solve the problem of their predecessors and other attempts to bring innovation to this construction sector. We are talking about providing the market with a material that combines transparency with a high thermal insulation parameter.

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Aerobricks are the fruit of six years of work, because it was in 2017 that Jannis Wernery and colleagues from the Swiss research group Empa brought out a prototype aerobrix. Then they filled the voids in ordinary clay bricks with a paste of aerated gel particles. What did they get? Bricks with high thermal insulation properties. The next step was to make it transparent, and this is what the scientists managed to do, which they brag about in the publication Construction Engineering Journal And the official website imp.

The newest type of Aeroprex is to connect the outer panels of clear glass using spacers made of epoxy resin. The resulting “bricks” were filled with transparent silica gel granules and sealed, to obtain cubes, and thus bricks with unique capabilities. Why exceptional? Because these stones combine the three most important features that we expect from merging bricks with glass.

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First, the air brick allows light to pass through. Although not completely transparent, it allows enough photons to pass through to provide a room with an amazing level of natural light. In addition, their partial transparency ensures privacy and their high thermal insulation (53 MW/m⋅K) ensures that a wall made of these bricks will not be a major thermal bridge. In fact, scientists claim that no other brick on the market (even a traditional one) surpasses these air bricks in terms of thermal insulation.

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The result of the compressive strength test was also impressive, as 44.9 MPa equates to the fact that such aerobatics are “many times superior to the clay bricks and brick blocks available on the market”. This means that they can be used in the construction of load-bearing walls, but their biggest problem will still be the price, which is naturally much higher compared to traditional clay bricks. However, we don’t have exact data, but that could change, because scientists are currently patenting their work and looking for a company to be interested in. So we are far from the time when it becomes normal, for example, to put partially glass houses on the mass market.