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Floating Concrete Shell and Honeycomb Structures

Home Forums Research Engineering Floating Concrete Shell and Honeycomb Structures

This topic contains 49 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of ellmer - http://yook3.com ellmer – http://yook3.com 1 year, 7 months ago.

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    I also ran across a more recent concrete barge, the oil drill “ship” Orlan :

    The Orlan platform is being used to develop the southwestern flank of the main Chayvo zone from offshore. This reinforced-concrete substructure can easily withstand pressure from gigantic ice ridges that can reach as high as a six story building.

    Links to Orlan here.

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    Ocean, take note: In researching how to attach things to the floating concrete, i have seen 3 ways of doing approximately how this place does it. In common with post tensioning, the cable is threaded thru pvc pipe embedded in the pour, and the opening in each floatie is sealed as the pieces are pulled together. To aid replacing the cable if it deteriorates, the seals are also removeable and replaceable. For allowing movement, the cables are simply kept tensioned with springs. In the case of this company, the cables are in one plane and form a hinge to allow each section to float up and down with swells, but resist differential lateral motion. A deduction i made is the cable must thread thru the shell portion of the concrete, and not thru the crushable honeycomb portion (or the embedded poly foam). I also deduce the aluminum this company uses as the form perimeter is there so the top edge corner of the concrete is not damaged if the hinged joint is in the trough of a swell, which would place intense pressures and some rubbing motion on the top edge of the concrete. Essentially then, there is no concrete-to-concrete contact, the floats touch each other via the aluminum surround, which also would hold the fenders and any other accessories of the dock. And i deduce a “spring box” could be in each floatie for attaching to an existing floatie, without requiring an entire preexisting dock system be rethreaded, and this would be useful for semi-permanent dock-ups.
    Now…… how is the aluminum surround kept in place on the concrete? Is it simply attached to aluminum rebar thru the pour to the aluminum on the opposite side? What about corrosion from the concrete and trapped salt water?

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    I thought of something like that,…My idea was to also use cables and run them through a whole in the middle of BIG spherical fenders, but no springs. The cable are run through holes in the topsides, half way between the gunnel and the waterline. Just tie up the cables really tight and the spheres will take care of the rest. BUT, this system will work up to a certain sea state. In big storms it might fail.

    It all depends of the size and shape of the floats and the size and shape of the raft up you will achieve with those floats. If it’s a long dock, like you showed above, it will collapse in a storm. If it’s a compact “finished product” it will hold. I did introduced a design here few years ago that is scalable and will hold pretty good, again, up to a certain sea state.

    The floaties :) depicted here are 200′ LOA or bigger. The bigger they are the less need to untie during a storm due to their massive displacement. There are infinite type of configurations:

    Mobile: http://wiki.seasteading.org/images/9/98/006.JPG

    Breakwater: http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Image:010.JPG

    Star: http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Image:008.JPG

    Cross: http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Image:011.JPG

    Etc: http://wiki.seasteading.org/images/5/5f/009.JPG

    To keep it on the safe side, all the above modules are self propelled and can be disconnected in case of a big storm, so they don’t start banging into each others and compromise the whole raft up structural integrity, and they will ride the storm by themselves.

    Plus if one of them want to “secede” from the “union” they can just go :)


    . . .
    Guys this is more or less the point where we “definitly lost it” when the topic was discussed a couple of years ago. And everyboy who has a slight idea of marine engineering went away. Remember what we are looking for is a structure that can stand maintenance free for at least 200 or better 2000 years – if we can not get there, “real estate on the ocean”, “cities on the ocean”, “societies on the ocean” will just not happen because they will not have “solid enough foundations” that give them the timeframe necessary to develop. So forget any “steelcable with spring tension and that universe of solutions” …
    We need something that is simple to build, simple to handle, lasts for ever in marine ambient… no steel components in tubes, no springs, no exotic and untested materials as structural components…
    This leaves us pretty much with concrete honeycomb and shell construction as only feasible solution…
    No “boating concept” like “break up in a storm”, “run for safe harbor in a storm” can be applied to a city. You can not handle around things that have tousands of tons of mass in storm conditions…this is a concept error.
    What we need is something that can take what ever comes up and give shelter to its inhabitants in any condition that comes up it is as simple as that.
    The structures we are looking at as “role model” are floating concrete structures with a 30 year service record and cero deterioration reported.

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    But Ellmer, you are going back to building Rome, or Venice, in a day, on one platform, ready for everyone to move in. It’s not going to happen.
    What might happen is someone finds a way their family can be safe out on the water in all conditions, and another family rafts up, and then another family. And then hundreds of people. And then they are making money and decide to form a legal union and pool money like a condo, and make a single floatie big enough for all of them. This may not be the most efficient way to float 100 people at once on the water, but so far no one has build a safe floatie for a hurricane, or intentionally physically gathered 100 people to make one working society.

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    The “theme” is supposed to be floating concrete structures…At this point I don’t understand what kind of structure you are talking about. It floats but “no boating concept” and “it cannot be handled because of its huge mass” so,…is it anchored, or what? Do you have a design in mind? I mean, it is really unclear what you envision here, other than something really huge that will cost $ billions but cannot be defined yet in terms of shape and functionality.


    This is the key problem for all surface floating structures if they do not reach a size where they stop tracking the waves of the open ocean (400m) there is no chance to establish a suitable living space on a surface float. The only way to place something small in the open ocean that does NOT track the waves is putting it below the surface. There is a good reason why nature in 500 million years never developed a surface floating animal or plant to colonize the empty watersurface. All animals that live in open ocean do it submerged for good reasons. So if you want to combine family house size and open ocean you need to think in submerged solutions. Family house sized surface floats are ok for protected bays – the Tanka, Uru, Moken, do it for at least 1200 years now – without transcending to something more than a “marginized floating community in protected bays”. So what is the benefit in being a “modern Tanka”. This is exactly what “live aboard yachties” do in anchor bays around the world. If it becomes big, it becomes annoying, and the city running the show moves the “floating slum” away by regulating it out of existence.
    You need to do something DIFFERENT than houseboats and boats in general or ocean colonization will not happen.
    This is especially true since Neil Sims provided us with a JOB for a family in open ocean. Drift cage aquaculture.
    Check especially the part where Neil Sims is talking of the oceans way to break things that float on the surface (like the yacht being tossed around while following the cages for months) and proposes to run ocean drift cage ventures submerged “like a space station”.
    The choice for open ocean is – build it really big – or build it submerged – there is no other choice for putting living space on the open ocean.


    This line of designs (submerged) definitly provides wave tracking free living space in open ocean and can survive any hurricane. Other than surface floats that need size to create stability in waves, this kind of “submerged living space bubble” is just fine in “family house size”.
    Can be free floating and mobile or have a tension anchor, whatever is convenient for the business model.

    On the other hand a surface floating concept would start as a small Ramform in a protected bay (brokering shore side interests) and when it reaches sufficient size to go oceanic (400m) it will no longer depend on the bay and its protection and become a true global player that can move to any spot on the liquid planet surface.

    In ANY case the structure will be a floating concrete shell or honeycomb structure that has a maintenance fee service life of 200 years (probably 2000 years).
    Tubular structures can be designed for a hydrostatic load of 500m with a 1:3 safety factor, spheres can be designed of a depth of 1000m with a 1:3 safety factor. This opens the possiblility to untap 99% of the planetary volume (the oceans) for human living space and activities.
    In this context also check :
    The captain nemo float out:
    ORES 30m diameter concrete spheres in the ocean feasiblility cost MIT…

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    If you truly believe that “You need to do something DIFFERENT than houseboats and boats in general or ocean colonization will not happen”, and that different thing is submerged structures, than you should go for it and make it happen.


    Ocean, I am all over it… google up : ocean colonization key player network…houseboats just lead to this…

    see: Tanka, Moken, Uru, Floating Neutrinos, Richi Sowa,…millenia of “no transcendence to a powerfull floating city” you really need to go out of protected bays and the marginized floating communities segment. A business development plan is key – not just floating out something…

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    Ellmer said

    A business development plan is key – not just floating out something…

    But what business plan? There is no one out there to do business with. There is no reason to be out there, so selling space on seasteads is not a business model. You cannot build a city with individual underwater homes or businesses, how will you ever get out of the house or down to the business? I cannot wait on someone with a $billion to provide a place for me to be out there, because 1) they won’t do it, and 2) they’d charge more than i can pay. Maybe the people who with “no transcendence to a powerfull floating city” simply want to life peacefully with no political drama.
    Edit: i think we need a way for people to rent/lease/buy Ocean’s scheme, modified so they can tolerate a small hurricane, or burn tons of fuel to outrun it.

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    I am not going to argue here AGAIN and AGAIN about floating vs. submerge, $ billion offshore start up vs. close to shore incremental and modular, etc. I never said that offshore seasteading will be done on houseboats. All I said is that for starters, experimenting with seasteading on a low budget and close to shore, houseboat(s) and ferrocement floats around them are the ideal, cheapest solution.

    Lease, rent or buy, is less important. In the beginning, the idea is to get people to participate and have some fun on the water while realizing the difference that an aquatic daily existence can make in their lives. Eventually, they will become the future seasteaders and investors.

    I’d rather have have 50 people investing $20,000.00 and ran various business on THEIR seastead as owners-partners than 2 investors for half a million each for the same seastead. In fact, I would never consider participating in any seasteading venture based on somebody’s else “big wallet”. I don’t work for anybody but myself and I don’t plan to change that at all, seasteading or not.


    Ocean, i don’t think that there are “versus discussions” of the kind you are talking about, fact is, that when we colonize the oceans the 99% of the planet space volume of the underwater world will be part of it and all kind of technologies will be part of it, all kind of structure sizes will be part of it.

    There is no discussion that clutter the surface of the open ocean with houseboats like Aberdeen Harbor will not happen for the reasons anybody remotly knowledgable in marine affairs can name.

    Therefore to speak of a “seasteading start up” while using houseboat technology that depends on bays and repeats Aberdeen Harbor (on minor scale) is a long shot. It is a bit “solving the problem of ocean colonization by NOT solving it” and repeat what has not solved it for 1200 years (Tanka houseboat floats).

    The reason why things like this (Khalifa port) recieve attention and finance is because they have “potential”.

    The reason why tings like this do NOT recieve attention and finance is because they have no potential.

    What differentiates VENICE from a Tanka floating village is the “fleet dominating mediterranean trade”. The business model. Not the floaties. It does not matter what the initial size is, it does not matter what the wallet or share of a backer is, the only thing that matteres is, that there is a “Ongoing Dynamics of Potential and Business”.

    Definitly you can create business dynamics when doing single family floats in a protected bay. For example tourism developments like this…

    The key is to avoid the Tanka stagnation … potential for development to other things than a floating slum is important.
    If a proposal does not get attention and finance it is important to analyze why that is so – improve the proposal and try again to get attention and finance. This is what developers do.

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    There is no discussion that submerged seasteading will not happen for the reasons anybody remotely knowledgeable in marine affairs can name.

    There is no “houseboats technology” and there is no “repeat Aberdeen Harbor” cluster fuck to talk about.

    There is no proposal, no finance and no developers here.

    If you want to built the Next Venice or the Next Underwater Seastead Empire don’t waste your time in trying to convince me. Just do it. I already said that.

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    Khalifa port was not built because it has potential. It was built, as an ISLAND, to serve an existing purpose. The need for a larger, deeper, better sited commercial port existed. It was not built for potential.
    Show me any reason someone would build any seastead off the south coast, east coast, or west coast of the usa. So far the only reason anyone has gone out there with big money is because there is proven oil to drill for, not because there is potential for it.

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