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#1 2005-08-17 06:07:34

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Inflatable concrete shelter.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20 … crete.html

Now this is neat.

" A temporary shelter dubbed the "Concrete Canvas" is putting a new twist on an old construction material, while offering the potential to improve living conditions for millions of displaced people.

The shelter, designed by students William Crawford and Peter Brewin of London's Royal College of Art, represents a sturdy yet cheap alternative to tents used in refugee camps — and practically builds itself.

Crawford and Brewin's small working prototype has won nine awards to date."

Hmmm... Application for Lunar or Mars outposts galore, or not practical?


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#2 2005-08-17 06:27:33

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,855

Re: Inflatable concrete shelter.

Interesting cheap affordable housing structure, poof just add water, wait and inflate...

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#3 2005-08-17 07:37:57

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Inflatable concrete shelter.

The shelter is made from an inflatable plastic liner covered with a cement-impregnated fabric and comes packaged in a sealed bag. To build the structure, the assembler fills a pre-measured part of the bag with water and waits 15 minutes.

He then unfolds the bag and presses a button that activates a chemical pack of gas. The gas fills the plastic liner and inflates the building. After 12 hours, the concrete solidifies into a 12-millimeter-thick shell.

Doors and windows are positioned during the manufacturing process by leaving holes uncovered with the concrete cloth. The builder cuts away the plastic after the shell has hardened to reveal the openings.

Because the concrete is thin, deconstructing the building is made easy and does not produce to a lot of waste.

*Wow, that's wild.  I'd like to actually SEE it at work. 

The article says "after 12 hours"...so that IS how long the process itself takes?  Not sure if it's implied that a bit more time is required (beyond cutting the plastic for windows and doorways).

Amazing.  smile

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#4 2005-08-17 09:29:49

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Inflatable concrete shelter.

I guess the 12 hours is the time needed for the cement to cure.

... Though at the end of the article they say they didn't build a full-scale test-object yet, so maybe it's less spectacular than it sounds.

Thinking out loud:

Could they, if this pans out to be workable, design forms that make load-bearing arches, so you can pile dirt (or regolith) on top of it, to make radiation shelters on Luna, Mars? That'd be neat. Then you could maybe use 'bolt-on' airlocks to actually presuurize spaces.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#5 2005-08-17 09:33:49

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,855

Re: Inflatable concrete shelter.

Add a little internal structural steel support before covering.

Sounds like a good mars society experiment just waiting to happen.

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#6 2005-08-17 14:03:44

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Inflatable concrete shelter.

Not sure how you people call that in English.. pre-stressed concrete? the concrete with iron bars in it?

Again thinking out loud, probably not working, but what if you use titanium bars instead of iron bars, much more costly, but Ti flexes a lot, so maybe there's a way to fold a package with bars *in* it?

Not sure how much Ti bars flex before bending, though. My Ti glasses are amazingly flexible, but I'm kind of hesitant to try out how flexible exactly  wink


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#7 2005-08-17 14:18:07

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Inflatable concrete shelter.

Not sure how you people call that in English.. pre-stressed concrete? the concrete with iron bars in it?

Again thinking out loud, probably not working, but what if you use titanium bars instead of iron bars, much more costly, but Ti flexes a lot, so maybe there's a way to fold a package with bars *in* it?

Not sure how much Ti bars flex before bending, though. My Ti glasses are amazingly flexible, but I'm kind of hesitant to try out how flexible exactly  wink

The structure is thin right? I wouldn’t go with reinforced concrete. Perhaps some internal beams like a house could add strength but I think if you are building it for mars what you want is to inflate something with a high tensile strength like Kevlar. If you want a stronger structure perhaps you could inflate one structure inside another and use some bonding agent in between them. If made strong enough it might even be able to support dirt pilled on top of it even if it was unpressurrized.  I think such a structure would be more suitable for the moon because on the moon there is more incentive to burry the shelters for the radiation protection. Of course it will probably require importing large quantities of water to the moon.

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#8 2005-08-17 14:18:23

Dragoneye
Member
From: Romeoville, IL
Registered: 2005-08-17
Posts: 100

Re: Inflatable concrete shelter.

this is a very good way to set up a vast and strong shelter.

as far as strengthening the shelter... you could always bring with an exo skeleton frame constructed of iron rods and then rolls of chicken wire above holding on with zip ties so when you pile soil on it, it will insulate it well too and grip to the surface.

there are always other ways of designing it too so it will work with different locations, environments, and so on and so forth....

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