Reinforced concrete: versatile at any size?


In our community, we’re no strangers to making things, and there are plenty of us who devote their efforts to model making. Rarely, however, is a scale model of something made using the exact same techniques as anything it copies. Instead, a model can be made from cardboard, foam, fiberglass, or resin. [tiny WORLD] take the opposite course, build civil engineering projects to scale as they would have been for real. (Video, embedded below.)

Here, a model of the Hoover Dam bypass bridge is made like the original, in reinforced concrete. Instead of rebar, a metal grid instead of wooden formwork is what looks like foam board, concrete is a much smoother mortar, but otherwise it’s the real thing. We see the various parts of the deck cast in place, the result being as strong as you’d expect from the original.

We can see that it’s a great technique for modeling concrete buildings and structures, but it’s also a material that we think could have other applications at this scale. How would the stiffness, strength, and mass of small-scale reinforced cement compare to 20-20 extrusion, 3D-printed plastic, or wood, for example? Either way, it’s worth watching, as you can see in the video below the break.

Thank you [Michael Field] for the tip.


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