Art + Science + Technology
Professor Victoria Vesna
Name: [Han Wu]
Through atypical mixing of cement and gravels,
extremely light weight concrete could be produced and
used to form different shape and size of concrete
canoe. The concrete canoe manufactured this way will
obtain superior characteristics such as high strength,
light weight, long lasting and easy to form in variety of
shapes. Combined with material science’s microscopic
technologies, the canoe could also be manufactured
with elastic behavior. The goal of this project is to alter
people’s preexisting realization of concrete as heavy
members and initiate new methods of manufacturing
canoes in a cheaper and ground breaking way. Also,
this could help areas with low storage of iron mines
and those have high difficulties or cost to transport
irons to produce canoe like products in a relatively
CONCEPT / TOPIC
To start with, I am a civil engineering major student and my specified field is in structural
analysis and construction material.After learning within the field for a considerable time,
I’m increasingly interested in manufacturing projects with breakthrough meanings.
Concrete, as a traditional type of manufacturing material has been replaced by steel
construction members to some extent these days.
However, it draws my attention that the “antique” material has not yet come its end of
history. People stop using it because of the difficulties to make revolutionary progress on
such a material. It’s my intent to have people start thinking and creating methods that
could bring concrete a new life through connections between creative usage of concrete
and everyday life.
CONTEXT & PRECEDENTS
The American Institute of Concrete, known as ACI is an organization
that focus on concrete constructions within the United States and is
the only organization that produce building codes for concrete
industry(1). By far, it’s one of the world’s most acknowledged society
of concrete development. According to ACI Spring conventions hold in
March, 2013, the topic consists problems of innovations of concrete
usage in modern development, which officially brought the task of
continuing use of concrete on the open table. During the conference,
ACI encouraged engineers, as well as people from all over the field to
engage in developing new categories of concrete that could better fit
into modern design in construction of buildings and all other related
fields. Also, the Fall Convention, 2013, hold in Phoenix also brought
up the topic of Innovation in Conservation, which provides a
strengthen and directed area of development.
A canoe looks like Gondola is chosen to be the base model. And the idea of kayak is
considered into account since the Gondola shape consists of difficulties in controlling the
boat afterwards. The bottom of the concrete canoe is constructed into curved shape
which could provide better balance for the boat. Depends on the needs, the concrete
canoe could be constructed in different length and width. Different from steel canoe or
wood canoe for which the size is highly dependent on the materials available, the concrete
canoe could be manufactured into different length using the computer numerical controlled
machine system to carve into a whole piece without any joint or seam.
Project Proposal (cont.)
The most difficult part in the project by far is finding the appropriate mixing ratio between
cement, gravel and water. The strength and weight of the concrete is highly dependent on the
mixing ratio. The strength of the concrete is controlled by the fraction of gravel, the larger
quantity and finer quality of the gravel would increase the strength of the concrete. However,
the elastic behavior of the concrete is controlled by the amount of water and cement used.
The more the cement, the higher plasticity the concrete.
Water content needs to be
manipulated in an appropriate range to ensure the concrete is workable, therefore, depends
on the terminal usage of the concrete canoe, different mixing ratio should be applied. Another
even challenging criteria would be making the concrete canoe rubbery. As common sense,
the concrete is supposed to behave with small deformation, however, after rearranging the
pattern of concrete, it could behave like rubber. The advantage is obvious that the concrete
canoe would never break into parts. By doing so, the concrete canoe could be long lasting
and doesn’t need any maintenance.
Project Proposal (cont.)
Decorations are the most common art that every body does every day.
The concrete canoe is easy to decorate compared to those made of
other materials. Propylene, the major materials for pairings are capable
to be painted on the concrete canoe. For steel and wood made
projects, its always a concern of choosing the right material to decorate,
otherwise the material may destroy the original chemical structures of
the components and lead to underperformance of the whole structure.
However, the propylene wouldn’t react with concrete and is possibly the
cheapest painting material to purchase or manufacture. Therefore, the
paint is capable for any kind of decorations.
Sustainable development is the major task for the entire world due to
increasing rate of consumption for natural resources. Infrastructure and other
buildings are the most consumptions of natural resources such as iron mines
since the rate of using steels is becoming heavier. However, the concrete is
majorly chemical components of gravels and cements, both of the materials
are basically stones, which are adequate for use in millions of years. The
project demonstrated is only a tiny fraction of use of advanced concrete in our
daily lives. The concrete canoe could later be used in the area with critical
conditions where steel boats are not capable to handle. Such circumstance
could be found at extremely cold water areas, where steel structures
experience high risk of fracture on the demand side and high cost on supply
side. Also, the material used for concert canoe could be applied to buildings
to minimize damage due to seismic disasters.
Bibliography / Links
The Roman Pantheon: The Triumph of Concrete. Romanconcrete.com. Retrieved on 2013-02-19.!
Zongjin Li; Advanced concrete technology; 2011!
"The History of Concrete". Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign. Retrieved 8 January 2013.!
Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard. "the History of Concrete". The International Association of Certiﬁed
Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Retrieved 8 January 2013.!
Herring, Benjamin. "The Secrets of Roman Concrete". Romanconcrete.com. Retrieved 1 October 2012.!
"Evaluation of Electrically Conductive Concrete Containing Carbon Products for Deicing". ACI Materials
Journal. Retrieved 1 October 2012.!
Gibbons, Jack. "Measuring Water in Concrete". Concrete Construction. Retrieved 1 October 2012.!
U.S. Federal Highway Administration (14 June 1999). "Admixtures". Retrieved 25 January 2007.!
U.S. Federal Highway Administration. "Ground Granulated Blast-Furnace Slag". Retrieved 24 January 2007.!
Premixed cement paste. Concreteinternational.com (1989-11-01). Retrieved on 2013-02-19.!
"Concrete Testing". Retrieved 10 November 2008.!
Henry G. Russel, PE. "Why Use High Performance Concrete?". Technical Talk. Retrieved 10 January 2013.!
Self-Healing Concrete: Research Yields Cost-Effective System to Extend Life of Structures May 25, 2010!
China’s Three Gorges Dam By The Numbers. Probeinternational.org. Retrieved on 2013-02-19.!
"Concrete Pouring of Three Gorges Project Sets World Record". People’s Daily. 4 January 2001. Retrieved 24