Concrete Canvas Shelter

May 12, 2009
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Rapidly deployable building made from concrete cloth

The Concrete Canvas Shelter is a rapidly deployable hardened shelter that requires only water and air for erection. It can be deployed by two people without any training in approximately thirty minutes and is ready to use in twelve hours. The shelter consists of a cement-impregnated fabric bonded to the outer surface of an inflatable plastic inner structure.

Prior to construction, the shelter is delivered folded in a sealed plastic sack. Once the sack is positioned and filled with water, the fiber matrix wicks water into the cement, naturally controlling the water-to-cement ratio. The sack is cut open after hydration, and a battery-driven fan inflates the inner plastic lining, causing the structure to lift. After a duration of twelve hours, the concrete will have set sufficiently for use.

The fibers of the Concrete Canvas fabric form a coherent matrix within the concrete, providing tensile reinforcement and helping prevent crack propagation. If desired, the shelter can be buried with over 0.5 meters of sand on the roof in order to provide increased insulation and protection.

Contact: Peter Brewin, Northampton, UK.

For more information, see Transmaterial 2: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment