Friday, September 17, 2010

Shake, drape and bake - Concrete Canvas

[Concrete cloth is a concrete impregnated canvas, which you drape in shape you want - and then add water]

Following the post on a fabric formed side-table, I was reminded of Concrete Canvas - A textile impregnated with dry concrete mix - you shape the heavy canvas - and add water to activate the chemical binding process of the cement.
Like the Shake and Bake cake mix, you just add water

The clever idea was started for an idea of creating emergency shelters that would work as seen below.
Today the company have created a civil line of use and a military one. 
To erect the shelters, the inner liner is inflated via an electric fan. As the liner expands it lifts the concrete cloth into the Nissen hut shape, which is pegged out and the canvas is then hydrated with water or seawater. In 1 hour the structure is self-supporting and in 24 hours it’s ready to use
[Concrete Canvas is used by the British Army - concrete draped sandbags work well as protection against bullets]
I guess the fact that the military has started using Concrete Canvas is the proof of the great idea - I'm looking forward to seeing some more architectural and poetic uses of this 'shake, drape and bake' concept.

Concrete Canvas has been awarded several prizes - I think the company have received the Red Dot Award Last year the company received the Medium Material Award from Material Connexion.

Here's some text from the inauguration in November 2009:

"The award recognizes materials juried into the company’s Materials Library within the past year that demonstrate outstanding technological innovation and the potential to make a significant contribution to the advancement of design, industry, society and economy. 
“The MEDIUM Award for Material of the Year is an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary breadth and scope of materials innovation today,” says George M. Beylerian, Founder & CEO of Material ConneXion. “The winner is distinguished not only for its technical ability, but for its capacity to make a lasting impact on our lives.”

"With the simple addition of water, Concrete Cloth makes it possible to create safe, durable, non-combustible structures for a wide range of commercial, military and humanitarian uses," 
said Dr. Andrew H. Dent, Vice President, Library & Materials Research at Material ConneXion.

"This innovation is especially remarkable for enabling the construction of rapidly deployable shelter and food storage structures in disaster relief situations," Dent added.

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