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Inflatable Concrete Simplifies Shelter

Friday, June 7, 2013

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Need sturdy shelter fast? Then a concrete building in a bag might be for you. Just add air and water!

A UK company says its new product makes construction that easy, producing a cured concrete structure in just 24 hours.

With no heavy lift cranes or training necessary, installing a concrete building is extremely simple. In fact, it only takes two people an hour to set up the structure.

Concrete Canvas
Photos: Concrete Canvas Ltd.

Available in 25 or 50 square meters, the Concrete Canvas Shelter is ready to go in 24 hours.

The creator of the Concrete Canvas Shelter, Concrete Canvas Ltd., started in the UK in 2005 and primarily serves the military and construction sectors with global customers.

Blow-up Building

The shelter is made from a concrete cloth prefabricated onto an inflatable plastic inner with steel security doors at each end.

The shelter comes folded and sealed in an airtight sack with everything required for construction; the user needs only to access power for the blower unit and a water supply. The water does not have to be potable; river water or seawater are perfectly acceptable.

Shelters are designed to be fireproof and have passed load tests for other elements.

With an approximate 10-year design life, the shelters are available in 25-square-meter and 50-square-meter sizes and can be reused once demolished in rebuilding operations.

The concept was developed over a three-year period. Research was conducted in Uganda by visiting camps in the field and interviewing refugees, in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and in Geneva with staff from major aid agencies.

The University of Bath conducted a Finite Element Analysis of the larger shelters and determined that they can withstand all specified load cases, including someone standing on the roof, uneven snow loads, and hurricane-force winds.

Inflatable concrete

The concept is made from a concrete cloth prefabricated onto a plastic inner.

Concrete Canvas

The company's other product, Concrete Canvas, is a flexible, concrete-impregnated fabric that hardens with water. The company says it is thin, durable, and waterproof and fireproof. Properly installed, the canvas has a design life of 50 years and requires no maintenance, the company says.

The canvas is sold in rolls. Applications include ditch lining, roofing, pipeline protection, asbestos containment, and shotcrete replacement.


Tagged categories: Building operations; Concrete; Construction; Design

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