Views from PSWC Day 1!
As the Fall Semester drew to a close, so did the first half of preparing for concrete canoe. Members, new and old, spent the day learning how to measure, mix, and place in preparation for the real deal later in January. It is always good to put new ideas to the test before committing to the full project so crucial tests can be performed and adjustments can be made. All the contributions made on Practice Pour Day defined how the actual run will progress on January 28.
Canoe Race day took place at the Marine Stadium in Long Beach, California. It was a great day to paddle, lay on the beach, socialize with friends, and compete! At the end of the day, our team surprised our Canoe Captains by dunking them into the water.
The first half of Concrete Canoe 2015-2016 is officially over! We’re really excited about all of the new members that got involved this semester, and can proudly say that we poured our practice canoe! We spent the first Saturday after classes ended working hard in the KAP basement to mix, pigment, and place concrete to create a full-scale practice canoe. With all of the rule changes and new ideas we’re trying this year, we wanted to practice some techniques before pouring the real canoe for competition! Not to mention, the practice canoe will give our paddlers a great chance to paddle in the canoe they’ll be racing in just 3 short months at PSWC. We had a group of great people helping out at practice pour day (warmest thanks to those who showed up!), and we’re all super excited to see what our colored concrete looks like once we de-mold the canoe when we get back to school in January!
Overall, it has been a great semester full of great ideas and great people, and we’re looking forward to see what next semester has in store for us!
USC ASCE Concrete Canoe Captain
ASCE’s Concrete Canoe design is off to a great start! We are excited about all the new members that have joined and consistently come to our meetings! Each week we hold sub team meetings for structures, aesthetics, mix design and construction in addition to our paddling practices every Sunday.
This year there have been some major changes in the rules for the competition, as a result altering our approach to the canoe design. The most significant change is that we are no longer able to use any type of paint or stains on the canoe, therefore we must pigment the concrete itself in order to create the design. In the past couple of weeks, aesthetics has finalized the theme for this year’s concrete canoe and presentation display, which we are excited to announce as DiSCo.
After determining the preliminary design for the actual canoe, the team has begun to research into different potential pigments we can use to achieve the look we want. Structures has been a combination of an introduction to statics for the younger members who have not been exposed to those concepts yet, as well as solving for the moment and shear for various required loading cases.
The mix design sub team started off by going over a comprehensive review of the components of a concrete mix followed by diving into making mixes every week. We have come closer to deciding the final mixes we plan on using for the different structural layers and now we are focusing on the optimal way to integrate the pigment into the mix. Additionally, we are testing different techniques to depict the desired graphics on the canoe, so the mix design and construction sub-teams have been working on producing these elements and testing their construction and application methods.
Even with the new challenges the team is faced with this year, we are confident that we will once again produce a successful concrete canoe and have fun while doing it!
So, it turns out that there’s a weight limit for the concrete bowling ball competition (ours was clearly way too heavy to use anyway). Fortunately, being engineers, we we able to find an alternate use for it as a soccer ball, kicking it around campus on our way to the Geotech competition. Note that a 25-pound sphere can pick up a lot of momentum…
We need to make a cross-section of our canoe showing the three layers of concrete and two layers of reinforcement for our canoe display, so we did a mini-pour-day. The one section took only about 90 minutes and just a few people; much more efficiently than pouring the actual canoe.