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Technology highlights of Shanghai World Expo

10-29-2010 16:07 BJT Special Report:Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

Viewing “High-tech Expo” from building materials of pavilions

Netizen's comment: The architectural styles of many pavilions at the Shanghai World Expo have left a deep impression on myself, let alone the creative use of high-tech building materials. The Shanghai Expo is praised as “an arena of high technologies.” Can someone introduce the cutting-edge technologies exhibited at the Expo?

Since the first World Expo named the “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations,” newest technologies have always been the most eye-catching things at the World Expos. From escalators, steam engines and concrete to electric motors, maglev trains, and robots, these state-of-the-art technologies and products have always added luster to the World Expo.

Based on the concept of “High-tech Expo, Eco-Expo,” the Shanghai Expo has unexceptionally provided visitors with a “feast of the latest technologies.” Participating countries from all around the world have brought their own newest technologies, providing visitors a precious opportunity to learn about a variety of cutting-edge technologies of today. They can find the great charm of technologies just after learning about the building materials of pavilions.

While wandering in the Shanghai Expo Park, we can see the pavilions of various styles. However, what the designers from different regions of the world always say is that, “it is the latest construction material that we developed.” According to incomplete statistics, of the construction materials adopted in the pavilions of the Expo Shanghai, 10 types are new technologies that have never been used before.

The Japan Pavilion which is called the “Silk Worm Baby” by tourists has adopted many latest environmental protection technologies. For example, the “purple coat” of the “Silk Worm Baby” has adopted the “power generation film” technology for the first time in the world. The “power generation film” has a double-layer structure, and air can be charged into the space between the two layers so that an air pillow will form. The solar panels in the air pillows absorb the sunshine and generate power, like the “photosynthesis” of plants. Generally, the power generated by the solar panels can support 25 percent of the total power supply of the pavilion.

Besides solar power, the three “horns” and three “holes” of the “Silk Worm Baby” are also “circulatory breathing pillars,” with which the whole building can “communicate” with the outside environment. When it is raining, the cupped “holes” can divert the rain water into the pavilion’s underground water tank through its “breathing pillars.” After being treated, the water can be used to supply the washing system for the “coat of the pavilion” and cool down the pavilion during hot days. By using the “power generation film” and “circulatory breathing pillars,” 60 percent of steel bars used in the construction of Japan Pavilion were saved.

The Italy Pavilion is also an integrated high-tech unit. Its walls have adopted the latest technology called “transparent cement.” With this material, outdoor natural lighting can penetrate through the walls and illuminate the indoor space, and the people outside can also see the things inside through the transparent wall. This new material was developed by Italy’s Bergamo laboratory and its transparency can be guaranteed by combining a new kind of cement and a mixture. The good fluidity of the mixture perfectly connects the plastic colophony and the solid transparent cement boards and sunshine can penetrate through it whether from outside or inside. It is said that the Italy Pavilion is the first industrial case that has adopted “transparent cement.”

The Swiss Pavilion is quite unique for its walls are actually “curtains” and no cement was used at all. However, these “curtains” are not normal curtains but high-tech ones. The curtains were made of soybean fibers and could not only generate power, but also could decompose themselves. If you walk close-by, you will see that a lot of light-emitting elements are disorderly scattered on these curtains of over 20 meters high. These elements are made of environmental-friendly biological colophony, in which sensitive solar cells have been set. They react with the energy around the pavilion such as sunshine and the flash from cameras, and without any electricity, they will be able to make all the walls of pavilion become bright.

Of course, the new construction materials are only a small part of the high and new technologies exhibited in the Shanghai World Expo. With the “Internet of Things” technology, new-energy vehicle technologies, advanced medical science, intelligent furniture and “zero-emissions” communities, the Expo Shanghai has opened a series of doors to the future city, and it seems we are walking into a magical and colorful future city.

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