Thin shell concrete conference report

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by gobug, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I attended a 4 day conference this last weekend. I learned about papercrete, foamcrete, concrete spray equipment, mixing equipment, made a concrete door, a 10' diameter hollow concrete sphere, and visited local underground homes. It was the best conference I have ever attended.

    I have always had an aversion to papercrete. My mind has changed. You can make lots of things for almost no money. I watched a guy mix the stuff, and make blocks from a little bigger than a phone book to the size of an entire wall. He plastered the surface and it looked exactly like adobe.

    I watched a 70 year old man mix EPS beads, Portland cement, and fly ash. He made a miniature water feature (4'X6') and an arch. The arch was 2 foot across and 1 foot high. It was 1 inch thick. The arch cured for 2 days and he stood on the top without breaking it. It withstood the impact of a 50 pound weight dropped from 2 feet. It has an R value of nearly 3. It wouldn't burn with a torch flame directly on the material for several minutes. It was light weight, easily shaped, didn't shrink, and strong enough to make beams. You can plaster right over the surface. EPS is free if you can imagine a way to break it up into beads.

    We inflated a 10' vinyl balloon shaped like a short cylinder with a rounded top. The fan was a small squirrel cage. We used a wall/ceiling texture sprayer with a special mix of cement and PVA fibers. We brushed something sticky on the vinyl and sprayed paper thin layers of the cement and fibers. Several layers and a few days cure time the fan was turned off. This was approximately 1 bag of portland cement and fly ash(65%-35%), 2 bags of sand, 1% PVA fibers and some latex.

    We helped build a cement door. It was an iron frame with the outside edge of the door and the matching door frame made from 1 inch angle iron. The curvy spaces in the door were outlined with 1 inch metal strap and welded in place. The window spaces had little tabs to hold the glass. The solid spaces were closed with a layer of metal lath. It was shaped into 3 dimensional french type curves. The lath was parged with a mix of white cement, white silica sand, and PVA fibers.This was carefully worked until the cement barely cover the form. Another layer of cement without fibers was added carefully and worked until the shapes were smooth. We didn't finish the door.

    I have already written a lot. There is so much more. This is perfect for homesteaders. I have links to more information on these things and 158 photos to be posted soon.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Sounds very interesting! If you need help posting photos let me know. What are EPS beads?
     

  3. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    EPS is an acronym for "Expanded Poly Styrene." It is the filling in a bean bag chair. It is made into panels and is white in the form called "bead board." It is also custom shaped into protective packing for almost everything. In panels and blocks, you can see the shape of the beads.
     
  4. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

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  5. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Charmaine was there!
    We had tirolessa sprayers but the form was sprayed with a $60 texture sprayer from Home Depit.
     
  6. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    This sounds awesome.
    who put on the seminar?
    Do they have a website?
    Did they give you a list of material suppliers?
    Are these folks intending to put on more seminars?

    William
     
  7. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

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    Did you get any hands on with the tirolessa?
     
  8. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    repeat of blu3duk's questions..................
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nolan Scheid organized and hosted the conference at the site of an underground concrete house that he saved from demolition. (Lorane OR) There was a website for the conference that listed attendees and hopefuls as well as agenda... Anyway its not on the menu for their main site any longer. The site is similar to this site in format. It pertains to thin shell concrete and also has links for business.

    http://www.itsa.info/

    The seminar will be repeated next year, same place. I bet it will be about the same time of the year.

    I had hoped to get some personal time on the tirolessa, but it didn't happen. The word is you can do it all with the tirolessa. Ceilings are a pain. They make a ceiling model, but it is still a pain. The tirolessa is small enough to operate with a good home/shop compressor (5hp, 9cfm)

    I will using the tirolessa the weekend of the fourth to put cement on my water fall. Its my dry run for building a cistern, hot tub, chicken house, and finally a house.
     
  10. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks and i found the link to the seminar on the home page as well..... interesting, one of the participants that was there was from near the cultural hub of the universe and one of our customers.....

    William
     
  11. Terrabus

    Terrabus Middle-Aged Delinquent

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    I have about a thousand questions to ask. Do you have any links to the EBS and fly ash building techniques, etc?
    Also, with papercrete, how does one seal it off properly from moisture? I'm in Illinois and we're all wet out here!
    Can papercrete support a load, such as a roof?

    thanks for sharing this!

    Ted
     
  12. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The EPS-crete was a topic in the ferrocement discussion group, but, this was the first evidence I have seen that someone had actually made it into a good end product. I don't know of any web sites. Ferrocement.net is the discussion group. You have to sign up to be a member, then you get emails as people have things to discuss. I think I like the format in this group better, because you can be selective on what you pursue. Still, its a great group and I have learned a ton. There are archives and you can use google to search them.

    I have posted pictures of the conference:
    http://community.webshots.com/user/nogobug

    Regarding papercrete, I don't think it would be a problem in your climate. It can be structural. I saw pictures of structures where the roof, walls, and floor were all papercrete. The structure in question is used to raise mushrooms and is kept very humid. Once the structure is built, you parge the inner walls with a plaster and the outer walls with stucco to cover the papercrete.
     
  13. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    Gobug said: "I will using the tirolessa the weekend of the fourth to put cement on my water fall. Its my dry run for building a cistern, hot tub, chicken house, and finally a house."

    Hi Gobug, did you get to use the tirolessa yet and if so how is it going? What do you like and dislike? Tips?

    On the EPS bead cement, I have made some of that in test disks as well as some projects. It has worked very well. I use a little latex in the mix to help the beads mix in better. The test disks are quite strong (haven't done compression breaks yet) and almost float in water. They are amazingly light compared with a test disk of regular cement.
     
  14. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    highlands,
    I did use the tirolessa on my "mountain." We applied about 2 yards on the 4th and another yard on the 5th. Phew, that cement is heavy. You have to use it close to the work surface. We blocked two of the four nozzles and liked the results a little better, but it may have been our inexperience. We still have another weekend or two to finish. We got the framework cover with a few exceptions, like the cave door and plumbing access cover. I posted some pictures of the work in progress.
    http://community.webshots.com/album/106613371HRSAuW