Thursday January 23, 2020
Home Uncategorized Indian origin...

Indian origin engineer says traditional homes are more sustainable

0
//

Washington: An Indian-origin engineer said that while the trend might be of the houses like Europe and North America but the traditional homes can be more sustainable.

Industrial building materials are often scarce and expensive and alternative, locally sourced, sustainable materials are often a better choice, said Khanjan Mehta, assistant professor of engineering design at the Pennsylvania State University.

“People want to build a good house, everyone wants to have a good house. But what makes a good house? Is it wood, steel, concrete or bamboo? It all depends on the context,” Mehta said.

“In some places steel and concrete are perfect, while straw bales and bamboo are optimal in other places. We should be evaluating what is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable at the necessary scale in a given location,” he said.

Cutting down forests to plant bamboo as a building material is not the answer, according to Mehta.

Individuals can use locally available but scarce materials to build their individual homes, but that strategy will not build all the houses in a city or village because it cannot be scaled up to meet the demand.

“Can we grow mushrooms and process them into a strong packaging material or fiberboard for construction?” said Mehta.

“We need cross pollination from different areas to come up with acceptable choices to meet these challenges,” Mehta noted.

“People see western stuff as better, more modern and therefore they think it is good,” said Mehta.

“Traditional homes can be just as cool, and maybe more sustainable,” he said.

Mehta shared his thoughts at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington DC on Friday.(IANS)

Next Story

Scientists Produce Complex Glass From 3D Printing

The researchers can change various parameters in each layer, including pore size.

0
3D printing or additive manufacturing
3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. Pixabay

Creating glass objects using 3D printing is not easy but a groups of researchers including one of Indian-origin has now used a better technique to produce complex glass objects with addictive manufacturing.

Researchers from ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) used the method based on stereolithography, one of the first 3D printing techniques developed during the 1980s.

David Moore, Lorenzo Barbera and Kunal Masania in the Complex Materials group led by ETH processor Andre Studart developed a special resin that contains a plastic and organic molecules to which glass precursors are bonded.

The resin can be processed using commercially available ‘Digital Light Processing’ technology.

This involves irradiating the resin with UV light patterns. Wherever the light strikes the resin, it hardens because the light sensitive components of the polymer resin cross link at the exposed points.

3D Printing of molecules in hand
This image shows molecules in hand. The molecular model appears on the computer screen, tumbling and turning in real time as the person holding the object manipulates it. Pixabay

The plastic monomers combine to form a labyrinth like structure, creating the polymer. The ceramic-bearing molecules fill the interstices of this labyrinth, said the team in a paper published in the journal Natural Materials.

An object can thus be built up layer by layer. The researchers can change various parameters in each layer, including pore size.

“We discovered that by accident, but we can use this to directly influence the pore size of the printed object,” said Masania.

These 3D-printed glass objects are still no bigger than a die. Large glass objects, such as bottles, drinking glasses or window panes, cannot be produced in this way “which was not actually the goal of the project,” emphasised Masania.

ALSO READ: Google Glass to help patients in remote areas

The aim was rather to prove the feasibility of producing glass objects of complex geometry using a 3D printing process. However, the new technology is not just a gimmick.

The researchers applied for a patent and are currently negotiating with a major Swiss glassware dealer who wants to use the technology in his company. (IANS)