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!
We’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on our concrete canoe and its auxiliary components over the past few weeks. Our cut-away section is a seven-foot-long space shuttle, complete with red steel stands (not pictured):
Our two stands include a massive asteroid (made out of concrete, of course), and a special robotic guest:
We’re building some other cool stuff, including a canoe, of course, but you’ll have to wait until PSWC to see everything else. For now check out the construction pics:
Our canoe’s concrete mix is designed to be less dense than water, in order to ensure that it will float (although other factors also influence whether our canoe floats). This year’s mix is less dense than water, but only just. So as an added precaution, we add foam and air pockets (encased in concrete) to the canoe in the bulkheads (at the bow and stern). This way we have some added flotation factor just in case something goes wrong with our mix design!