10 Most Popular Material Stories of 2018

Every year, researchers conduct experiments on unusual materials from innovative new industrial products to biomaterials and develop revolutionary products. Surfaces Reporter Team picks out 8 sustainable and renewable building materials we loved in 2018:

Every year, researchers conduct experiments on unusual materials from biomaterials to innovative new industrial products to create revolutionary materials. Surfaces Reporter Team picks out 8 sustainable and renewable building materials that were most popular in 2018. Have a look:

Human Urine

Building Materials in India

If we look for any material that is not susceptible to run out of it is human urine.

Students from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa have created eco-friendly bricks using human urine. These young scientists have made it through a natural process called microbial carbonate precipitation.

These zero-waste bricks are developed in moulds at room temperature rather than baking in a firing kiln.

Read the whole story here... 


Building Materials in India-Aerogel

Researchers and scientists have always been looking for building the strongest material ever because of its uses in manufacturing and research. But they always have an approach to find something sturdy yet sustainable.

If we look for a sustainable and strong raw material for buildings, it is aerogel. This material is composed of more than 90 per cent of air, having transparency, extremely lightweight and outstanding thermal conductivity.

Read the whole story here... 


Building Materials in India-Architect Pameli Kayal

Yes, there’s a new green building material on the block in the year 2018! That’s Ecor. Every year, tons of wood, paper, and other cellulose-based materials are recycled - and tons more burned or otherwise disposed of. Wouldn’t it be great, if manufacturers could find a way to cheaply collect and reuse all that raw material into making another which can be used elsewhere?

One exact such product that may help clear that hurdle of low-cost sustainable manufacturing rings in the market as ECOR, a material produced by San Diego-based Noble Environmental Technologies.

The material is made by using only water, heat, fibre, and pressure, it is a light, strong, and flexible material that can be made into just about any shape.

Read the whole story here... 

Domestic Waste

Building Materials in India-Dhara

Dhara Kabaria in WADe Asia event explained the possibilities we have with scrap. The lady presented various projects done through her firm- Studio alternatives – where they have used 60% materials which are discarded.

They have used old sari, foil packet waste, recycled paper, woven mats, tyres, thermocol packaging, old furniture, old drum and stuff like that to create innovative desirable solutions.

Yatin Pandya also did that, recycled domestic waste into building components. Whereas Craftpreneur has found its own way to enhance the beauty of your walls with the gorgeous clocks made from 100% Recycled Newspaper.

Magnetic Concrete

Magnetic concrete

Although the concrete is rather unusual material in electrical engineering, Magment has produced a concrete of very homogeneous quality by mixing ferrite particles in cement to transform the inductive charging of electric vehicles.

Magment concrete enhances the inductive coupling by directing the magnetic field towards the receivers and maximizing the transferred energy. Wireless transmission is useful to power electrical devices in cases where interconnecting wires are inconvenient or not possible.

Read the whole story here... 


Innovative ProductsScientists these days are interested in creating materials that no longer relied on the exploitation of certain natural resources.

Phil Ross, a biologist, who teaches art at the University of San Francisco, experimented with fungi in his art practice. By introducing mushroom tissue into molds filled with pasteurized sawdust and allowing the fungus to digest the material, he has built fungal sculptures that have been exhibited in art galleries and museums around the world. He has also created a new kind of leather grown rapidly from mycelium and agricultural byproducts in a carbon-negative process.

Read the whole story here... 



WoodSkin is a revolutionary new composite material of 2018. It is an extremely flexible, strong and is able to convert into various 3D shapes perfect for vertical or horizontal structures. It includes the flexibility of a fabric and the rigidity of wood.

Thanks to WoodSkin, wood has become a tissue, which can be shaped into different forms, concurrently retaining its structural and aesthetic value intact. It allows the designer to, in fact, transform the shape at any time, even during the building phase.   

Read the whole story here... 



Graphene has a innumerable qualities – it is light weight, thin, durable, robust, dense and a good conductor of electricity, the list goes on. This year, a team of researchers at MIT has designed one of the strongest lightweight materials known – 3D Graphene. The new material, a sponge-like configuration with a density of just 5 per cent, can have strength 10 times that of steel.

Scientists believe the material has thousands of potential commercial applications, including being used in airplanes and high-speed trains. Let’s have a sneak peek into the new developments in Graphene.

Read the whole story here... 

Micro-Cement Brick Grown From Bacteria


Another material, which we loved in 2018, is the micro-cement brick that is grown from nothing more than bacteria and naturally plentiful materials.

Bio MASON aims to help reduce global dependencies on non-renewable fuel sources, precious water resources, and carbon emissions through the manufacture of biologically-based materials for the building sector. The company employs microorganisms to grow cement.

Read the whole story here... 

Memory Foam

Memory Foam

Foam is a common material, which has been used in most of the sofas, mattresses, car seats, and many other products for so many years. However, this year designers revolutionized foam into memory foam, which has found a home way beyond our bedding these days.

Although, the invention of memory foam happened in 1970 by NASA while it was trying to come up with a material that could cushion the astronauts when taking off due to the high G level. But now designers are experimenting with this material and trying to make it more temperature sensitive so that it becomes firmer at colder temps and softer at warmer/more humid environments.

Read the whole story here... 


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Surfaces Reporter is one of India's leading media in Print & Digital Telecast for News on Interiors & Architecture Projects, Products, Building Materials, and the Business of Design! Since 2011, it serves as a referral for designers & architects to know about inspiring projects and source new products. If you have a Product or Project worth publishing in Surfaces Reporter, please email us hello@surfacesreporter.com or you can also submit your project online.

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