Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Space Industry and Business News .




TECH SPACE
The Inflatable Concrete Dome
by Staff Writers
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Jun 13, 2014


Possible application: Concert pavillon.

When concrete shells are constructed, they usually have to be supported by elaborate timber structures. A revolutionary technique developed at the Vienna University of Technology now uses inflatable air cushions instead. Large shell structures made of concrete or stone are hardly ever built any more. The reason is that their construction requires large, expensive supporting structures.

At the Vienna University of Technology, a completely new construction method has been developed, which does not require any timber structures at all: a flat concrete slab hardens on the ground, and then an air cushion below the plate is inflated, bending the concrete and quickly forming a sustainable shell. Even large event halls could be built this way. In Vienna, a first experimental structure has now been built using the new method.

"It is similar to an orange peel, which is regularly cut and then flattened out on the table", says Professor Johann Kollegger.

"We do it the other way around, starting with a flat surface and then bending it to a shell." Johann Kollegger and Benjamin Kromoser (TU Vienna) have developed the new construction technique, which has now been successfully tested on the Aspang Grounds in Vienna.

The Pneumatic Wedge Method
At first, a flat slab is created using standard concrete. It is crucial to get the geometric shape exactly right. The slab consists of several segments. Wedge-shaped spaces are left between these segments, so that the segments fit together perfectly when the structure is bent.

Once the slab is hardened, an air cushion below is inflated. The cushion consists of two plastic sheets welded together. At the same time, a steel cable is tightened around the concrete segments, so that the concrete is lifted up at the center and pushed together from outside.

To ensure that all the concrete segments move in perfect synchronicity, they are connected with metal beams. In the experiment, the whole process was finished after about two hours, the final height of the concrete structure was 2.90m.

When the concrete is bent, many tiny cracks appear - but this is not a problem for the stability of the shell.

"We can see that in old stone arches", says Johann Kollegger. "If the shape is right, each stone holds the others in place and the construction is stable." In the end, the structure can be plastered, then it has just the same properties and is just as stable as a concrete shell constructed in a conventional way.

Creative Freedom for Architecture "We decided not just to create a simple, rotationally symmetric shape", says Benjamin Kromoser.

"Our building is a bit drawn-out, it cannot be described in simple geometric terms. We wanted to show that using our technology, even complex free-form structures can be created." Such playful free-form shells play an important role in contemporary architecture. By carefully designing the shape of the concrete slab and the air cushion, a wide variety of shapes can be built using the pneumatic wedge method.

"Building shells with a diameter of 50 meters is no problem with this technique", says Johann Kollegger. The hardest challenge is creating complicated shapes with a very small radius of curvature. In the labs at TU Vienna, different kinds of reinforcement were tested to see how strongly they can be bent - a radius of curvature of just three meters is feasible.

As the new construction method renders timber structures obsolete, it not only helps to save time and resources, it also saves a lot of money. Benjamin Kromoser estimates that about half of the construction cost can be saved - even more in large structures.

The team hopes that the new construction method will establish itself on the market. It has already been patented. In the meantime, the Austrian Federal Railways (OEBB-Infrastruktur AG) became interested and commissioned a design project based on the new construction method for a deer pass over two high speed rail tracks in Carinthia.

.


Related Links
Vienna University of Technology
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
Plastic rocks likely to become part of geologic record
London, Ontario (UPI) Jun 10, 2013
A rock made partially of plastic, found recently on a Hawaiian beach, inspired scientists to consider what role plastics will play in the geologic record many years from now. More than 6 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced and relinquished to nature since the mid-20th century. And though a decent portion of it ends up in landfills or is recycled, large amounts are left lit ... read more


TECH SPACE
NASA's abandoned ISEE-3 craft to return to Earth's orbit

The Inflatable Concrete Dome

Breakthrough for information technology using Heusler materials

PlayStation lets Sony grab for home entertainment crown

TECH SPACE
Mutualink Connects Soldiers with Disparate Tactical Networks and C2

Technology firm Celestech now part of Exelis

UK Connects with Allied Protected Communication Satellites

Raytheon awarded contratc for USAF FAB-T satellite terminal program

TECH SPACE
Nasa readies satellite to measure atmospheric CO2

Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket to undergo final testing

Lie detector exposes sabotage of Proton-M booster

Move fast on rocket choice, Europe space chief says

TECH SPACE
Russia may join forces with China to compete with US, European satnavs

Russia Says GLONASS Accuracy Could Be Boosted to Two Feet

Northrop Grumman tapped for new miniature navigation system

Northrop Grumman To Develop Miniaturized Inertial NavSystem

TECH SPACE
Pentagon temporarily grounds F-35 fighter jets

Lockheed completes upgrading of air command-and-control system

100 days after MH370, Malaysia vows to keep searching

China Eastern to buy 80 Boeing 737s

TECH SPACE
Quantum computation: Fragile yet error-free

Chemical Sensor on a Chip

Contextuality puts the 'magic' in quantum computing

Researchers find weird magic ingredient for quantum computing

TECH SPACE
SpyMeSat Mobile App Now Offers High Resolution Satellite Imagery

US Dept of Commerce Relaxes Resolution Restrictions on DigitalGlobe

Google buys satellite imaging firm for $500 mn

Ten year-old Dragon gains new strength

TECH SPACE
China official blasted for blaming lead poisoning on pencils

China pollution arrests rise as Beijing pushes green agenda

Chinese conservation group builds pollution monitoring app

Pollution-ridden Bangladesh unveils green tax in budget




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.