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An island built on floating cement balls

Home Forums Research Engineering An island built on floating cement balls

This topic contains 20 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Elwar Elwar 2 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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  • #1685
    Avatar of Elwar
    Elwar
    Participant

    After watching this guy’s island grow (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/scottmader/grand-launch-recycled-plastic-bottle-ecological-ar ) with just plastic bottles bagged together I started thinking

    about what would be needed for something like that long term.

    Thinking about a regular island you have to think of why is an island out in middle of the pacific able to survive with huge waves. The size is a major issue.

    If you have a 100 foot wave coming in and you have 100 feet of land between you and the start of the wave, it should peter out before it hits your house.

    So I thought, what if we take this guy’s concept of bottles and make something more durable such as a floating cement sphere. You have a huge circle of these floating spheres meshed together and as the waves hit, they lose strength as they are broken up by the spheres.

    Like these, but without the large holes in them:

    The outer layer of spheres would be used mainly for breaking up the waves and the inner spheres could be stacked in order to support weight of a structure. Just like the guy’s island in the video.

    This would be the ideal for incrementalism because you can start small in steady water with a small house and keep adding balls. And you can build them right there, all you need is cement and chicken wire brought in as you work on expanding.

    Something like this (excuse the crudeness):

    This picture showing the buoyant spheres holding up a large central sphere that is the living space. Of course, the spheres would be smaller and stacked on top of each other further out. I put lines to show that the island would be anchored. It would probably require many cables for redundancy and stabilization/distribution but they could also be used to generate electricity from the back and forth of the strain being put on them.

    Thoughts? I was thinking about starting on a ferrocement sphere and start testing it in my back yard (I live on the Gulf of Mexico).

    #16159
    Avatar of Elwar
    Elwar
    Participant

    I was also thinking of this concept as a breaker (again, I am no paint expert):

    The concept being, a row of an ever-growing stack of spheres in a crescent shape around where you want to build your seastead. And with the breaker, you can build your seastead in more conventional shapes that do not have to take into account waves (or at least it is less of a factor).

    The top right square is an overhead view, the white things are choppy waters with the breaker providing smooth water.

    #16160
    Avatar of Elwar
    Elwar
    Participant

    And as long as I have the paint program out, I might as well post my idea for how these spheres can be used for supporting the weight of the cable for the anchor.

    #16161
    Avatar of TheTimPotter
    TheTimPotter
    Participant

    There is someone in Tennessee who has been putting bottles in tires and tying them together. Inspired by Rishi’s bottle island. After reading about the guy in Germany who does the tyre ringweave I went over there and helped him assemble his island in Tennessee. I think it’s a good improvement over just bottles. If it’s done right it could enable the genesis of Seasteading, in a more literal way.

    These spheres would probably work fine. I see them as more expensive though, and you might as well start with concrete in stead of seacrete, from what I’ve heard. Where in the gulf are you? It’s literally your backyard? Definitely start experimenting in any way you can.

    #16162
    Avatar of shredder7753
    shredder7753
    Participant

    Elwar wrote:

    If you have a 100 foot wave coming in and you have 100 feet of land between you and the start of the wave, it should peter out before it hits your house.

    my jaw gets a lil closer to the floor every time i read it.

    other thoughts; it would rake a lot of balls to make a structure like that. why wouldnt the balls be made in plastic? it seems to me that they would bounce into each other and then you would have a lot of ball bustin goin on.

    another thing about the balls holding up the mooring line – they have bouyant mooring lines made out of polyester that are used in industrial applications.

    ____________

    My Work II

    “Leadership and do-ership are not the same thing”

    #16163
    Avatar of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    If you have oceanfront property, it would be much cheaper for you to build whatever you want to float on it, and then launch it right there. You can build a float made of plywood (marine plywood would be best) and then ferrocement it (ferrosheating) for really cheap. (of course, depending on size :)

    Also, since you are on the Gulf side, you don’t have to worry about 100′ wave until the next Katrina.

    The main problem with floating spheres is that while floating they will bob up and down, which is a very uncomfortable motion while @ sea. In general, you should look for a hull that has a sharp bow, able to CUT thru waves rather than RIDING on the waves, and in the case of seasteading, to be highly modular. IMHO

    One of my projects, the man made Key evolves around a floating structure I named the “kitefloat”, combined with houseboats for living quarters. http://photobucket.com/man_made_key

    #16164
    Avatar of Elwar
    Elwar
    Participant

    TheTimPotter wrote:

    These spheres would probably work fine. I see them as more expensive though, and you might as well start with concrete in stead of seacrete, from what I’ve heard.

    I read a study where they had ferro cement spheres that they had anchored under sea water for 40 years. Being underwater they actually became stronger and they held up well. I wish I could find that pdf, it was full of good information.

    TheTimPotter wrote:

    Where in the gulf are you? It’s literally your backyard? Definitely start experimenting in any way you can.

    I live in Hudson, Florida just northwest of Tampa. My back yard has a ramp and sea wall going into a canal that goes out about 100 feet and into the gulf. I could definitely set up a structure in my canal since I have no neighbors in the adjacent lots.

    #16165
    Avatar of Elwar
    Elwar
    Participant

    shredder7753 wrote:

    other thoughts; it would rake a lot of balls to make a structure like that. why wouldnt the balls be made in plastic? it seems to me that they would bounce into each other and then you would have a lot of ball bustin goin on.

    another thing about the balls holding up the mooring line – they have bouyant mooring lines made out of polyester that are used in industrial applications.

    It would take a lot of them to make a full island that could support a sustainable environment. The key is incrementalism. I could probably make 4 or 5 of them and have something that I could put a small motor on and fashion a floor and tent. But that would require no waves. The optimal start would be enough to put a small shelter on with enough room to build more spheres. From there on it is just a matter of time and supplies to grow it. Starting in steady waters and moving eventually to harsh seas.

    A project to create artificial reefs with “hollow concrete” covered one or two acres at a cost of around $40,000. (google Lake Ponchartrain reefs)

    The reason for not using plastic is because I was thinking long term. Plastic would eventually disintigrate in salt water. After several decades I would hope it could be city sized.

    I was thinking about the spheres hitting each other. I initially thought of having metal or concrete coated metal hooks coming out where each ball could hook to each other but with the constant movement they would wear down. I was thinking about having them spread out from each other with wire mesh kinda like having a mesh bag of apples and twisting it between two apples. They will not touch. That part still needs some thought. I would not want them grinding against each other on a daily basis.

    I did not know about the buoyant mooring lines. I just know that ideally it should be anchored and people had spoken about how difficult it would be.

    #16166
    Avatar of Elwar
    Elwar
    Participant

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    If you have oceanfront property, it would be much cheaper for you to build whatever you want to float on it, and then launch it right there. You can build a float made of plywood (marine plywood would be best) and then ferrocement it (ferrosheating) for really cheap. (of course, depending on size :)

    Also, since you are on the Gulf side, you don’t have to worry about 100′ wave until the next Katrina.

    The main problem with floating spheres is that while floating they will bob up and down, which is a very uncomfortable motion while @ sea. In general, you should look for a hull that has a sharp bow, able to CUT thru waves rather than RIDING on the waves, and in the case of seasteading, to be highly modular. IMHO

    One of my projects, the man made Key evolves around a floating structure I named the “kitefloat”, combined with houseboats for living quarters. http://photobucket.com/man_made_key

    The whole point of seasteading for me is to get out of the jurisdiction of countries and being in the Gulf would still be under US or Mexico control. I could buy a deck boat or a house boat and live on the Gulf but I might as well just live in my house if I want to be in the US.

    I think some bobbing on the outer edges and the movement dissipating toward the middle should be fine, I see the outer spheres as taking most of the force and weakening it so it is like cutting through the waves. And the break wall idea is more toward that end of cutting down the wave action.

    #16169
    Avatar of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    the whole point of seasteading is to be on the high seas, eventually as a sovereign nation. Most of us here do share that view. The big question is how to get from HERE to THERE, given the absence of, lets say, @ least $ 5 Mil. in “seed” money. Unless you are that MAN, with that kind of dough,…

    I personally belive that seasteading should be started as a small profitable business in territorial water of an existing nation. In our case (United States) the Florida Keys would be perfect. (I live on the E coast of Florida , in the West Palm Beach area). In time, expend that business, save the profits, and plan for a big seastead that can go and stay offshore.

    #16171

    I think that is a overall conclusion we can draw as a general way of proceeding. How an island must be shaped, what are the best module form, size, connection, in which place to start, how to start, is info scattered over several forums over a period of years.

    Unfortunatly the culture of sticking to the thread theme has been low so i built a set of links that allow to follow what was discussed where you might find it useful:

    Adriatic LNG / floating concrete structures / build south america / module standardisation / light inside / The first Seasteading Solutions / Floating marina development / Houseboats lagoon design / module size / minimum size / growth rate / foto update / testing out / Beakwater design-U shape / Building small start up units key / submerged vs surface float / grid platfroms / lack of concrete ships / Structure building cost compare / multihull flat float / bubble living space / competivity for seasteaders / economy on the oceans whales / CDI glomar beaufort / floating concrete structures business deep water access / module size sweetspots / hardening houseboats ring structures / Monaco Breakwater / loose raft up marina / connections / breakwater / breakwater rethink / structure cost / small concrete shell seastead / Evolution after Nkossa / concrete flat raft mastering high seas / industry float out / keep simple / connections / station keeping / wind profile / Plate Basics / Mobile Marina Seastead Hybrid / submerged / plate rol models / transparency / fishfarming / sub connect /Submerged living space exists / ean-capeable-living-space-bubble#comment-13879">Avoid wave hazards / Rion-Antirion Pylon / Ecofisk Tank / avoid surface /stationary submerged structures / minimum budget for a project / start seasteading issues / pilot project implementation / submerged seastead design/ facility cost / start up sizes / spiral island / flat raft sea behavior / floating marina development / start near city center / float and business / where seasteading application stands / venture capital handling / no second life for steel ships / concrete structures at sea / do business / minimum starting unit / finance group dynamics / funding model incorporate 5000/month / moving heavy structures / avoid third party / magellan network / project stoppers minor issues / blending in to local practice / floating culture and lifesyle / steer a small project trough starting phase / discussion is over testing is up / minimum start up site key west / pilot project log float / hardening housboat structures / project group vs single investor / enclose living space in a economic way practical test / general design aproach testing out / freeboard height of a plate seastead / hurricane strategy / catamaran floating structure / cost of building and floating out 20m structures / testrun a 20m cube / existing ship size floating resort in steel

    I tried to categorize the suggestions with most probability to lead to seasteading implementation in near future.

    The catamaran float / The plate float out / The real estate squaremeter deal / The Captain Nemo float out / The bubble hotel / The current turbine / Breakwater lagoon marina / Oceanic port city design /

    You also may want to join some of the discussions here:

    Concrete Surface Floating Solutions

    Concrete Submerged Concepts

    Oustanding floating concrete structures

    Wil

    concretesubmarine.com

    #16172
    Avatar of Elwar
    Elwar
    Participant

    Yes I have been following several of these discussions and have frequented the site for several years.

    I was just planning on going ahead with my first tests on creating a sphere to get a good feel for costs, buoyancy, anything I might have missed, and I just wanted to “float” the idea here first to make sure the concept was not completely flawed before getting started on testing.

    Thanks. Still open for more suggestions/critiques.

    #16175
    Avatar of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    with your project! Keep us posted.

    #16184
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    It would be easier to cast the balls from foam concrete and spray coat them with a thin solid layer of cement. This also prevents sudden loss of floatation due to cracking or breaking spheres. I would also add glass or steel fiber to the mix for much higher strength. Unlike steel rebar, steel fiber only corrodes in a millimeter from the surface of exposure to seawater. Allied Foam Tech, http://www.alliedfoamtech.com/Appconc.htm , lists densities as low as 30 kg/cubic meter. This means up to 970 kg or about half a ton floatation per cubic meter, a 1.24 meter diameter sphere. Using Ductal, http://www.vsl.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=24&Itemid=110%29 , the structures can flex to avoid cracking from impact as well as have a high strength.

    My main interest in concrete for seasteads is to cast fiber reinforced foam concrete in molds, preferably as molded shapes ready to be outfitted and finished for habitation. With neutrally bouyant foam concrete, large structures can be cast and assembled in the water with out heavy lifting equipment, then pumped out for floatation.

    #16187

    is there any example of a foam concrete floating structure ? – if so do you have a pointer?

    I have seen tubular structures, honeycomb structures, barges – so far…

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