Fossil Concrete Boat: Crinoid Rebar
October 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm #1655
I noticed a peculiar rock in the river, a concrete boat fossil, the rebar is calcium-carbonate, seems to be a geo-polymer cement, aggregate in shape of circles, stars and pentagons.
Of course, this is more likely a collection of some reef building organisms, but the similarity of the main ones to rebar is uncanny, also it’s a fairly thin layer, similar in thickness to my concrete dinghy. Having looked it up, the “rebar organism” may be a crinoid stem, or of the sea-lily, possibly from the ordovician era 450 million years ago, though may be as recent as Triassic based on the pentagonal cross-sections 200 million years ago.
Their current relatives have flexible arms and grow up to 1m in size, it’s possible that we may be able to genetically engineer or breed them to be of a large enough size to be useful for concrete-boat construction. The largest fossil crinoid ever found was 40m long.
Some like the pentacrinites lived attached to floating driftwood, so it’s possible we could grow them on our hulls. That way we’d have rebar available for repairs and extensions.
Even now with the large near 1m versions, we could possibly use such varieties in construction, as secondary reinforcement. It can naturally form anchored boat shapes,
and smaller ones could possibly be interlaced to make nets.
The contemporaries reach sexual maturity after 10-16 months,
so they could be farmed as annuals or biannuals,
we could expect longer for larger ones.
Crinoids are also known as sea-lillies,
so it would be called sea-lily farming, or “growing rebar”,
since polycultures are more stable, we could make the whole coraline community, out of useful or edible organisms.
Logan Streondj.October 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm #15794
Keep digging around: if you keep finding things like that you could finance a seastead with the proceeds!October 13, 2011 at 3:31 am #15831
Next question is how to calcify the remains and insert them into a concrete-like man-made rock… IF that gives it any strength as reinforcement, which also needs to be examined… May be a good find, leading to others… Have you approached anyone at a university, or archaeological dig/museum? If/when you do, see if they think the fossil acts as a reinforcement of the surrounding aggregate…
Never be afraid to try something new…
Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.October 20, 2011 at 5:36 am #15897
Next question is how to calcify the remains and insert them into a concrete-like man-made rock… IF that gives it any strength as reinforcement, which also needs to be examined…
steel is generally considered inferior to bone since it bends and buckles.
also “weight for weight” and “size for size” bone is stronger than steel.
1) “The human thigh bone is hollow but is the strongest bone in the body. Ounce for ounce, it has a greater pressure tolerance and bearing strength than a cast steel rod of equivalent size.”
2) “Thus, the mechanism responsible for bone’s strength at the molecular scale also explains how bone can remain so strong—even though it contains those many tiny cracks required for its renewal.
This could prove very useful information to civil engineers, who have always used materials like steel that gain strength through density. Nature creates strength in bone by taking advantage of the gaps that ensure continuous material renewal, which themselves are made possible by the material’s hierarchical structure.
“Engineers typically over-dimension structures in order to make them robust. Nature creates robustness by hierarchical structures,””
Source and further information:
May be a good find, leading to others… Have you approached anyone at a university, or archaeological dig/museum? If/when you do, see if they think the fossil acts as a reinforcement of the surrounding aggregate…
It’s fairly obvious that it reinforces the medium, though perhaps not quite visible on the picture, it’s actually a rather thin fossil, that broke along the crinoid rebar axis.
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