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Author Topic: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks  (Read 17166 times)

Offline Peter Dow

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Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« on: 31/12/2012 23:36:05 »
Hi.

I am still at the engineering design stage of a new building tile / brick invention project idea and at this point I have a technical drawing produced using my computer graphics skills to show you.

If the tiles or bricks are made of metal then either aluminium or steel are the obvious choices.

Tessellated I in Steel


View larger version of Tessellated I in Steel 1800 x 800 [nofollow]

Representing a surface of "I"-shaped steel tiles or bricks. Produced using Paint.NET.

The "I" shape is of square proportions, the column of the I being one third of the width of the square and the top and the base one quarter of the height of the square.

The image has my own watermark added.

I am hopeful that maybe one day this kind of shaped tile or brick could prove useful in engineering where you need to build a strong, maybe temporary, wall, enclosure, barrier, box or other solid structure.

Perhaps the proving ground for my tessellated I / H tile / brick concept would could be first as a building toy?

If as with Lego, the tiles or bricks are made of plastic then maybe multicoloured bricks might be possible ...



if not then single colour bricks like Lego would be OK.

There's nothing new about tessellations in engineering of course. Somebody even used I-shaped paving stones one time.



I still need to work on the design a bit more because I'd want the tiles or bricks to be able to be assembled together then disassembled when necessary without having to be cemented together like a brick wall



and without having to be glued onto a mounting surface like conventional tiles



So I am looking for a design that allows assembly and disassembly such as with Lego, Meccano or other manufactured products.



So still a bit of engineering design work to do and then I'll need to start with models and prototypes first and then see if anyone else might be interested in applying my idea whether as a building toy or for a real world engineering application.


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #1 on: 01/01/2013 01:56:58 »
Peter,
If you wish to try something glue-free, you might try something like a dovetail joint.

I.E.  Make your individual member segments somewhat like this.



And, if it is for kids, and doesn't just pop apart, then it has to be made fairly rugged.
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #2 on: 01/01/2013 02:31:48 »
Peter,
Thanks for your reply.

If you wish to try something glue-free,
Absolutely.

you might try something like a dovetail joint.

I.E.  Make your individual member segments somewhat like this.


Awesome Clifford!  (My smilies don't seem to be displaying properly)

So your dovetailed I would tessellate something like this.



Yes that would usefully prevent the columns of Is moving apart in one direction in which they are otherwise free, so long as the columns stayed in the same plane.

My Is without some further design element constraining them can be separated like this

Code: [Select] [nofollow]
III
III
III
pull the I's apart with a tensile force in this direction <---------->
Code: [Select] [nofollow]
I  I  I
I  I  I
I  I  I

whereas your Is with the dovetails don't easily separate in that direction, so long as the I's are otherwise constrained to remain in the same plane.

However your dovetail Is are still loose in the direction in and out of the screen / paper / plane in which the image of the Is is drawn.

In other words, faced with a wall of your dovetailed Is, I could still kick your Is in to destroy the structure.

So your dovetails offer a part solution yes but for example if the columns were bolted one column to its neighbouring column together somehow then they'd be constrained in all currently free dimensions which would offer a proper solution to the design problem.

And, if it is for kids, and doesn't just pop apart, then it has to be made fairly rugged.
Well kids toys could be the proving ground but I am aiming to design something that was able to be used for such tricky building requirements as being able stick up a quick temporary house and garage for you and your pick-up truck which has just carried the tiles in the back of the truck or in a trailer - in other words for real world engineering uses. OK, you can do that with a big tent now but tents can be flimsy insecure shelters, not so good at keeping out polar bears etc. So the tiles need to fit together into a cohesive structure that has its own structural strength and can withstand tensile forces in all directions.

And when was the last time you dropped a Lego toy? If I remember correctly, Lego has a tendency to fall apart when dropped. Meccano with nuts and bolts was more robust.

Well thank you once again for your contribution Clifford and I would welcome any more ideas you might have.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2013 03:06:07 by Peter Dow »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #3 on: 01/01/2013 03:46:43 »
Whew, freehand, it didn't come out too bad when you stacked them together  :)

The angled corners would give you a fair amount of rigidity for the whole wall.  And, you could certainly use the same technology to make 90° corner pieces (or any other angle for that matter, or even hinged.

I'm trying to imagine what it would mean to cross-link the elements, or if one could truly build a 3-D wall of a similar structure, or even why one would want to do it.  One can, of course, make thick and thin elements.

One could probably make a similar, 3-D element which would allow some cross linking, or attaching an internal wall, but probably not for every element.  Consider the element with the middle narrow like a column, but the top or bottom either having a T or + profile.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #4 on: 01/01/2013 11:12:43 »
I am surprised that traditional bricklaying still goes on I would have thought that bricks could be assembled into say one meter square sections by machine before being incorporated into a wall.
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #5 on: 01/01/2013 14:09:04 »
Whew, freehand, it didn't come out too bad when you stacked them together  :)
Awesome for a sketch.

The angled corners would give you a fair amount of rigidity for the whole wall.
Your dovetailed angled corners? Rigid only in one more dimension (giving a new total of 2 rigid dimensions) but not in the 3rd dimension as I have described in my previous post. Please re-read.

And, you could certainly use the same technology to make 90° corner pieces (or any other angle for that matter, or even hinged.
Technology? Making things in metal or plastic? Hey, we've had the technology for decades. What we don't have yet is the full design which shows how to make corners, hinges etc.

I'm trying to imagine what it would mean to cross-link the elements, or if one could truly build a 3-D wall of a similar structure, or even why one would want to do it.
Well perhaps you should review the Three Little Pigs story [nofollow].

One can, of course, make thick and thin elements.
If one has a design one can.

One could probably make a similar, 3-D element which would allow some cross linking, or attaching an internal wall, but probably not for every element.  Consider the element with the middle narrow like a column, but the top or bottom either having a T or + profile.
Well I have not specified a 3-D tile design though I have suggested that the 3-D design must serve to attach the tiles strongly to each other. Elements which allow cross-linking would need to be designed into the basic shape of the tile for mass production - but there would at construction time, of course, be options to use or not to use a particular cross-linking element of a particular tile.

As with Meccano, just because there are bolt holes that does not mean one must put a bolt in every hole.
 


« Last Edit: 01/01/2013 14:33:54 by Peter Dow »
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #6 on: 01/01/2013 14:24:01 »
I am surprised that traditional bricklaying still goes on I would have thought that bricks could be assembled into say one meter square sections by machine before being incorporated into a wall.
In traditional brick-laying the bricks are small so that they will be light enough to be lifted by one-hand while the other hand uses a tool to spread mortar on the jointing surfaces.

I metre-square of assembled traditional bricks would be too heavy to lift without a crane.

However, this topic is not about traditional bricks or brick-laying but about my proposal for an entirely new kind of brick or tile. Perhaps the new bricks might even approach the size of 1 metre squared for some applications and if made of plastic or aluminium could be fairly easy to lift into place. I have a 5-step step-ladder made of aluminium which I can easily lift with one hand yet it supports my weight to a height of over 1 metre.
 
 

Offline Mazurka

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #7 on: 08/01/2013 12:20:14 »
An interesting proposition,

Other than the aesthetics, I am not sure that what advantage the tessellation adds – I cannot see that it is more load bearing than an individual cuboid brick/ block?  It also strikes me that individual blocks having more potential to fail. 

For construction purposes if the blocks were sufficiently large it may be possible to use dowels (through the top/ bottom) of the crossbars of the I ‘s to hold a temporary wall type structure together (without cement) or bolts   This would resist tension (as the dovetails would) and also the deformation of the structure (kicking it in).  It would also allow changes in wall angle.

From a practical point of view temporary (polar bear proof) buildings rather than tents are best achieved using cheap prefabricated panels (such as profiled steel cladding) bolted onto  a structural frame (i.e. a metal tent!). This gives the compromise between strength and weight.  It is possible to get a fairly large barn on the back of a single wagon. 

I guess the key issue is materials.  Clay bricks would not fire consistently (or strongly) enough to tessellate neatly; Cast concrete (such as the pavers pictured) might work to a certain size without reinforcement (although I struggle to see the advantage of a conventional concrete block); Metal would be expensive, potentially heavy and thermally dismal; (engineered) wood might work and plastic might work...
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #8 on: 08/01/2013 12:58:54 »
For construction purposes if the blocks were sufficiently large it may be possible to use dowels (through the top/ bottom) of the crossbars of the I ‘s to hold a temporary wall type structure together (without cement) or bolts   This would resist tension (as the dovetails would) and also the deformation of the structure (kicking it in).
Excellent! You are the first to explain that, Mazurka, and I've posted this in a lot of science and engineering forums. Top of the world!

(If you don't mind, I will call these dowels "Mazurka dowels" - because if I call them the "Dow dowels" there's too many dows in there and anyway, my name can be used to reference this particular shape of I or H tile and brick and structures composed of them, as per "Dow tile" "Dow brick" "Dow I-tile" "Dow H-brick" "Dow I-H-brick" "Dow I-H-brick structure" "Dow I-structure" etc.)

You might think of drawing a diagram so that others can see what you are on about.

It would also allow changes in wall angle.
Well a 90 degree angle is simple enough, other angles less so. I mean other angles can be achieved but it's not possible, that I can see anyway, to leave a flush surface without gaps using all identical I or H tiles or bricks at all angles. For a flush surface finish you really need especially designed corner or edge tiles or bricks, one kind for each angle, whether 45 degrees, 60 degrees or whatever.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2013 19:13:46 by Peter Dow »
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #9 on: 08/01/2013 13:58:31 »
An interesting proposition,

Other than the aesthetics, I am not sure that what advantage the tessellation adds – I cannot see that it is more load bearing than an individual cuboid brick/ block?  It also strikes me that individual blocks having more potential to fail.
Well the problem with traditional brickwork is not that the bricks fail, it is that the mortar fails.

Quote
Wikipedia:  Brick - Limitations [nofollow]
Starting in the twentieth century, the use of brickwork declined in many areas due to earthquakes. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 revealed the weaknesses of brick buildings in earthquake-prone areas. Most buildings in San Francisco collapsed during the earthquake, due to the cement-based mortar used to hold the bricks together. During seismic events, the mortar cracks and crumbles, and the bricks are no longer held together.

Hence the move towards concrete with reinforcement steel bars.

With reinforced concrete so far so good but now here's another way to build without mortar as the weak link - with the tessellated I or H tile and brick design you can even do without setting concrete or grout to hold the rebar in place, allowing for very quick assembly and disassembly. Indeed using Dow I-H bricks with their Mazurka dowels you can build structures without so much as a screw thread and a spanner!

« Last Edit: 08/01/2013 14:57:23 by Peter Dow »
 

Offline Peter Dow

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3-Dimensional model video
« Reply #10 on: 08/01/2013 19:04:24 »
3-Dimensional model video







Tessellated I or H bricks and tiles for stronger, lighter assembled structures (YouTube) [nofollow]

This video shows my model of the 3-dimensional shape of a simple structure composed of 6 bricks or tiles, each of which, when viewed from one-direction anyway, are a 2-dimensional "I"-shape (equally when rotated by 90 degrees "H"-shaped).

This model has been made from aluminium tubing and in order to distinguish one brick from another they have been coloured using marker pens - so there are two bricks coloured blue, two coloured green and two coloured red. This colouring was necessary for clarity because otherwise the permanent joints within bricks (which are only an artifact of the method to make a brick from square tubing) might be confused with the simple touching surface where two neighbouring bricks abut, abutting securely but without being in any way stuck by glue etc.

This 3-Dimensional model reveals a further design feature of the I or H brick and tile structures, which secures the bricks and tiles together in 2 further dimensions, some such feature being necessary because the 2-D I or H shape in of itself only secures the bricks together in 1 dimension.

This feature is revealed here to be nothing more complicated than dowels or fixing rods which run in the vertical direction of the Is (or the horizontal direction of the Hs) through shafts in the Is' bases and tops and which serve to lock the tops and bases of neighbouring Is together, preventing movement radially from the dowels.

« Last Edit: 08/01/2013 20:11:02 by Peter Dow »
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #11 on: 09/01/2013 08:55:21 »
I would say the I shape with a hole so a rod can be put through will be a good strong structure, able to be locked together quite firmly.

An issue will be tolerancing of the units, bricks are capable of a lot of slack due to the mortar, and with modern bricks having a hole through them where you can stack a reinforcing rod you can build a very sturdy structure,certainly strong enough if you use brickforce and tie rods to withstand an earthquake, up to a certain point. If you are making a prefabricated unit a unit compromising a wall width and a height about the same as a current sheetrock panel will be desirable from a handling and design perspective, most architects design to a multiple of the standard wall panel width and height.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #12 on: 09/01/2013 22:54:20 »
While one can potentially put rebar through the holes, I don't think it is commonly done.  The holes, however, allow mortar to seep up (& down) into them, and potentially give better binding than bricks without the holes.

My parents house has a 12" brick wall in it. 
2 facings of brick.
Some kind of a wire mesh occasionally put in between the layers to join the two sides and give crosswise support, perhaps every half dozen rows of bricks.
Lots of rebar in the middle.
And filled with concrete.
Most of the doorways & openings also have arches with every brick cut to a taper.

There may be cold joints in the concrete.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps it was decided that construction of the wall would be better to do in phases, rather than building a hollow wall, and pouring a 30 foot vertical slab in a single step.
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #13 on: 10/01/2013 19:36:31 »
I see an opportunity with this to use expanded polystyrene instead of metal and to make extremely inexpensive bungalows with good insulation. 90 degree corners would be easy to build, and it would be easy to leave gaps for windows and doors. The roof would be the next challenge (perhaps a dome - the design of "I-bricks" could be shaped to make the walls circular), but again it could be extremely light. The whole structure could then be coated in something to keep the water out and to make it more robust (both inside and out), as well as stopping it catching fire. Ideal for earthquake zones, not only as temporary housing but also capable of housing people safely and comfortably for decades.
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #14 on: 10/01/2013 22:26:30 »
I see an opportunity with this to use expanded polystyrene instead of metal and to make extremely inexpensive bungalows with good insulation. 90 degree corners would be easy to build, and it would be easy to leave gaps for windows and doors. The roof would be the next challenge (perhaps a dome - the design of "I-bricks" could be shaped to make the walls circular), but again it could be extremely light. The whole structure could then be coated in something to keep the water out and to make it more robust (both inside and out), as well as stopping it catching fire. Ideal for earthquake zones, not only as temporary housing but also capable of housing people safely and comfortably for decades.

Well the fire risk is a big issue with expanded polystyrene.

Quote
Wikipedia: Polystyrene - Fire hazard [nofollow]s
Like other organic compounds, polystyrene is flammable. Polystyrene is classified according to DIN4102 as a "B3" product, meaning highly flammable or "Easily Ignited." As a consequence, although it is an efficient insulator at low temperatures, its use is prohibited in any exposed installations in building construction if the material is not flame-retardant. It must be concealed behind drywall, sheet metal, or concrete. Foamed polystyrene plastic materials have been accidentally ignited and caused huge fires and losses, for example at the Düsseldorf International Airport, the Channel tunnel (where polystyrene was inside a railcar that caught fire), and the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant (where fire breached a fire retardant and reached the foamed plastic underneath, inside a firestop that had not been tested and certified in accordance with the final installation).

Nevertheless David you may have given me an idea for temporary shelters in flood-hit disaster areas, likes of Bangladesh, where it would useful to have raft shelters that, OK you would anchor but, are free to float as the water rises. Expanded polystyrene is about the best there is for building floating things - that's what they give you to hold on to when you are learning to swim. Also, it doesn't puncture like an inflatable raft.


BBC, 2007 - In pictures: Bangladesh floods [nofollow]
« Last Edit: 10/01/2013 22:54:42 by Peter Dow »
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #15 on: 11/01/2013 17:54:35 »
How well does expanded polystyrene burn if it's nitrogen filled instead of using air? I suspect the main reason it burns so badly normally is that it contains its own oxygen supply.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #16 on: 11/01/2013 20:01:16 »
Polystyrene burns because it is a hydrocarbon, and the large surface area of the bubbles along with the low melting point makes it burn easily. No way other than covering with an insulation like thick concrete to make it fireproof. however if you build a frame of polystyrene and coat it with chicken wire or steel mesh you can gunite it to make a very strong lightweight concrete structure. Do both sides with gunite and it will be strong, quick to make and well insulated. You do need to mask for doors and windows though unless you are willing to cut them afterwards and compromise the structure.

You do get a polystyrene filled concrete that is used where you want a lighter mass and are willing to lose a little strength in exchange for a much lighter floor panel.
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #17 on: 12/01/2013 01:00:44 »
How well does expanded polystyrene burn if it's nitrogen filled instead of using air?
Firstly, don't assume that the gas in expanded polystyrene is air. Many dictionary definitions will say "air" but what they really mean is "gas", or they never thought about it and just assumed it was air.

Secondly, you can't just order up your preferred gas in the bubbles. It's more difficult and therefore more expensive with certain gases as "blowing agents" than with others.

Thirdly, anything burning near the polystyrene will draw in a fresh air supply by convection so it doesn't really matter what gas is contained inside the bubbles because on the burning surface there is air, with oxygen, so it is going to burn.

I suspect the main reason it burns so badly normally is that it contains its own oxygen supply.
No Sean is closer to the mark.

Polystyrene burns because it is a hydrocarbon, and the large surface area of the bubbles along with the low melting point makes it burn easily.

No way other than covering with an insulation like thick concrete to make it fireproof.
OK but for my floating raft shelter, the expanded polystyrene needs to be under water to provide buoyancy and there it is covered with water to prevent it catching fire. How and where you store your E.P. raft when it is not in use to protect it from fire is another matter. If you were using E.P. I / H bricks and dowels above water to make a light-weight shelter from wind and rain instead of an open raft then obviously you would need an insulating layer.

however if you build a frame of polystyrene and coat it with chicken wire or steel mesh you can gunite it to make a very strong lightweight concrete structure. Do both sides with gunite and it will be strong, quick to make and well insulated. You do need to mask for doors and windows though unless you are willing to cut them afterwards and compromise the structure.

You do get a polystyrene filled concrete that is used where you want a lighter mass and are willing to lose a little strength in exchange for a much lighter floor panel.
Yes. That's a relatively quick and cheap and a tried and tested method, used since the 1960s. Wikipedia: Insulating concrete form [nofollow].

A strong outer layer to the bricks is needed if the brick is going to be supporting heavy loads, such as floors for people's feet or walls which can support shelves.

Lightweight aluminium sheet is also an option for the outer layer.

I am thinking though that a fireproof fiber-reinforced plastic would be the ultimate high strength-to-weight material for the outer, strong insulating layer - which would also be tough and resist pressure and hold its shape.

Fiberglass, used to make fire blankets, is the fiber of choice I think, to make Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic - GRP.

If you were very lucky you might find a supplier for GRP square and circular tubing of the right size to make bricks and dowels out of. Otherwise you can make GRP from the fiberglass cloth and resin, which is slow, not so good for mass-production but possible.

GRP commonly uses a plastic flammable resin, burns more easily than concrete certainly, but less easily than bare polystyrene I think.

I would speculate without having researched this at great length and without being able to provide any links to available kits from suppliers that perhaps fiberglass set in a silicone plastic resin would be ideal because then both the fiber and the resin are fire-proof? If that's even possible it must be a lot more expensive and probably too expensive but I don't really know.

« Last Edit: 12/01/2013 01:22:43 by Peter Dow »
 

Offline cherrysun

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #18 on: 12/01/2013 03:30:22 »
Wow,so excellent! :)
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #19 on: 12/01/2013 06:47:07 »
You can buy spray foam for use as a fire-stop, but I wasn't impressed that it seems to burn quite readily.

Your normal fiberglass as used in roofing, or bathtubs will also burn, releasing a nasty black smoke...  don't ask how I know!  The resin burns out, leaving the glass fibers behind.

A while ago I looked for fireproof cushions to put in front of the fireplace, but pretty much everything I found was "fire resistant", but little was documented as "fire proof".

I think you are right that silicone based products do, in fact, have low flammability.

I don't think I'd be too keen on a "floating house" in most flood prone areas.  It would need a lot of excess buoyancy to hold up the appliances and etc, and not flood the floor.  Like building a house boat on land.

Many floods like tsunamis, and some river associated floods have a strong current associated with them, so a floating house would tend to float away, or if tethered, it would be subjected to extreme stress.

There may be some places, such as in the Amazon where it floods annually, and one might choose to build a type of house designed like a houseboat that could raise and lower with the water level.

Now, I'm not saying that there would not be some need for temporary shelter.  Foam blocks might be unwieldy to ship. 

However, I could imagine a house in a 50 gallon drum (or two).
One drum might contain a double walled tent.  The second drum might contain a spray foam. 

Unpack and inflate your tent.  Then, spray in the foam.  Let it dry overnight, and you would have a good "temporary" structure the next day.  Add a durable outer layer (metal sheeting, or concrete/stucco), and it might actually last fairly well.  Could you reinforce it with fiberglass?

There are also a number of manufactures of foam concrete forms (or insulated concrete forms) which can provide the insulation properties of foam, and mass and durability of concrete and rebar.
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #20 on: 12/01/2013 17:40:33 »
You can buy spray foam for use as a fire-stop, but I wasn't impressed that it seems to burn quite readily.

Your normal fiberglass as used in roofing, or bathtubs will also burn, releasing a nasty black smoke...  don't ask how I know!  The resin burns out, leaving the glass fibers behind.
But how easily is GRP to get burning and would it keep burning without another heat source? How does that compare to how easily normal expanded polystyrene burns?

GRP burn test - A guy puts a blowtorch on a disc he says of GRP and it holds up pretty well. San Juan Fiberglass pools burn test (YouTube) [nofollow]

Well that example is maybe not normal GRP, possibly he is using a resin that is more fire-resistant or maybe he has a high percentage of fiberglass to resin which protects the resin underneath?

EP burn test - Burning Polystyrene (YouTube) [nofollow]

I don't think I'd be too keen on a "floating house" in most flood prone areas.
Well it sure beats a submerged house.

It would need a lot of excess buoyancy to hold up the appliances and etc, and not flood the floor.  Like building a house boat on land.

Many floods like tsunamis, and some river associated floods have a strong current associated with them, so a floating house would tend to float away, or if tethered, it would be subjected to extreme stress.

There may be some places, such as in the Amazon where it floods annually, and one might choose to build a type of house designed like a houseboat that could raise and lower with the water level.

Now, I'm not saying that there would not be some need for temporary shelter.
I was thinking more in terms of a temporary raft shelter for people and their most valuable possessions to ride the flood out. Also people don't usually get flooded out by a tsunami or a dam bursting. Yes that would be extreme stress and sweep away most things but normal flooding you can anchor things that float and there's no extreme stress, unless you forget to tie it up, it floats away when you were not looking, you lose it, and that might "stress" you and make you cry maybe.

Foam blocks might be unwieldy to ship.
Why? They can be transported in nets bundling them together in numbers and a weight to best suit the transportation and cargo-handling equipment in use.

However, I could imagine a house in a 50 gallon drum (or two).
One drum might contain a double walled tent.  The second drum might contain a spray foam.

Unpack and inflate your tent.  Then, spray in the foam.  Let it dry overnight, and you would have a good "temporary" structure the next day.  Add a durable outer layer (metal sheeting, or concrete/stucco), and it might actually last fairly well.  Could you reinforce it with fiberglass?
You seem to be envisaging manufacture and assembly at the same point and time. That's too slow and ordinary people, especially suffering a flood disaster. don't have the time and the expertise to manufacture anything complicated, but maybe they can assemble and it is better if the assembly is quick and easy, as would it would be with an I / H brick & dowel structure, with the bricks and dowels manufactured in factories by mass-production techniques and later assembled on site.

There are also a number of manufactures of foam concrete forms (or insulated concrete forms) which can provide the insulation properties of foam, and mass and durability of concrete and rebar.
I presume those assemble with mortar? The advantage of the I / H brick & dowels would be that the pieces simply slot together.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2013 17:53:54 by Peter Dow »
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #21 on: 12/01/2013 19:45:26 »
If a hole is punched in the outer covering and fire gets in through it, the gas inside the polystyrene could make a substantial difference to the rate of spread of the fire within the wall. If it burns more slowly due to a lack of oxygen other than the little that can get in through the hole, that will give people more time to take action, though it could also go unnoticed for a long time and release lots of carbon monoxide.

For floods, if you live in a hut and occasionally have to take to the roof when it floods and hope that the water won't go higher than that, a lightweight top floor which can detatch and float on a tether would be useful - there aren't always strong currents. There may be other issues with strong winds though.

I see the main benefit as being with emergency housing in earthquake zones, though they'd need to be kept small enough that it's easy to clear snow off the roof as it may not be able to support more than a few inches of the stuff. Tents are freezing, but these could be kept warm much more easily and could be lived in relatively comfortably for long enough to span the gap while proper houses are rebuilt.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2013 19:48:11 by David Cooper »
 

Offline Peter Dow

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #22 on: 12/01/2013 20:44:44 »
If a hole is punched in the outer covering and fire gets in through it, the gas inside the polystyrene could make a substantial difference to the rate of spread of the fire within the wall. If it burns more slowly due to a lack of oxygen other than the little that can get in through the hole, that will give people more time to take action, though it could also go unnoticed for a long time and release lots of carbon monoxide.
Like I said, the gas is not air, it is a gas picked for the job of blowing bubbles and they don't pick oxygen and they don't and won't pick the gas you recommend. Sorry David but no-one is listening as far as my-favourite-gas-in-polystyrene-bubbles-wish-list is concerned. It's like the early Ford cars - you can have any colour so long as it is black. Well different manufacturers might use different gases as blowing agents, I don't know, but in truth it's academic because it is not going to make any difference to how the E.P. burns.

For floods, if you live in a hut and occasionally have to take to the roof when it floods and hope that the water won't go higher than that, a lightweight top floor which can detatch and float on a tether would be useful - there aren't always strong currents. There may be other issues with strong winds though.
Well you can tie it down to resist winds too. Whatever we suggest people would store them their own way.

I see the main benefit as being with emergency housing in earthquake zones, though they'd need to be kept small enough that it's easy to clear snow off the roof as it may not be able to support more than a few inches of the stuff.
Oh well with angled bricks it ought to be possible to build sloping roofs that the snow slides off.

Tents are freezing, but these could be kept warm much more easily and could be lived in relatively comfortably for long enough to span the gap while proper houses are rebuilt.

What I worry about more is if the aid agencies give these bricks out for free to people in a disaster zone to make rafts or shelters out of then after the present flood has drained away or rebuilding begins after an earthquake then the people may well misuse the bricks they were given, burn them for fuel or whatever in a short-sighted way that destroys the bricks and is neglectful of the fact that they'd need them for the next disaster. If you give people stuff for free they don't tend to value it as much as if they have to pay for them even if it is only a token amount, less than the production cost, something they or their government can afford but enough so that the people value the bricks and don't waste them after all the trouble we went to designing, building and distributing them.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2013 20:47:14 by Peter Dow »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #23 on: 12/01/2013 22:02:22 »
Sorry, I didn't make a comparison of different spray foams.  But, I didn't find the firestop very fireproof.  This was a burn test I did a couple of years ago.  It was easy to light.



I think the idea is that if you fill a crack, it will slow down the progression of flames and smoke through the crack, but it will certainly burn quite nicely.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #24 on: 12/01/2013 22:53:03 »
There are many different types of floods.

In the Northwest USA, the floods are characterized by fast moving water, capable of ripping houses from their foundations, and certainly not safe to casually walk in.  The 1964 Rogue River flood had a depth of about 10x the normal river depth, 68 feet at Agness, 50 feet above flood stage, or about 4x what is considered flood stage, and flows exceeding 100x the summer flow rates.  And, no dam failures.

Mississippi River floods may be slower moving. 

Although, there still may be periods of rapid inundation as dikes fail, followed by slow moving water once a basin fills up.

I presume that during flood periods, most people simply move away from the water.  I'm surprised of the number of people walking around in the  Bangladesh flood above.  The problems with shelter comes as people return to their homes.

A simple concrete structure may be able to withstand the flooding, although one of the issues noted in New Orleans was that mold became a significant issue, and much of the insides of the houses needed to be gutted and rebuilt, or even the whole houses torn down after the flood.

It may be more intense building, but some houses may be built on stilts, or in rural areas, perhaps building a small hill for the homesite which then remains as a small island.

For slow moving flood prone areas, It would be easy enough to build a house with wood, or hollow skids underneath it, and chained down to prevent it from floating away.  Of course, being careful of boyancy/weight of construction materials.  For a high flow area, a floating house may still sustain significant damage.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Tessellated I / H tiles / bricks
« Reply #24 on: 12/01/2013 22:53:03 »

 

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