(Pelagic: adj. Free swimming. Living in open ocean.)
This is an experiment in the construction of large-scale floating concrete platforms as pelagic habitats. This site is a nexus to focus and coordinate activity, and a repository for project documentation. It contains some well-researched information, some tested and untested designs, some information of uncertain accuracy, and some blatant speculation. We will try to make the distinctions explicit. The principals can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. (PGP Key)
The experiment is part of a project to construct such a habitat, and operate it as a profitable enterprise. In this experiment, we will construct a ¼-scale model and float it in flat water. The objectives of the experiment are to become proficient in the use of cellular concrete (the key component), develop construction techniques for the modular platform, and debug the initial design.
The assembly methods developed here could also be applied to the construction of low-cost floating bridges and docks, and to low cost housing, plant, or storage on land.
Design and Engineering
A foam generator has been designed and tested. We are now up to speed on the production of cellular concrete and a mixture has been selected. Cured samples are ready for strength testing.. Experiments to test the viability of the neutral bouyancy water bag casting technique have been sucessfull. A 600lb four foot 1/12 scale model has been constructed to test the assembly procedure. Testing of the completed model is not yet complete. Results of this part of the experiment and some pictures are here The next step in the plan is the development of a heat-sealing jig for the larger plastic bags, and initiation of the 12 foot ¼ scale model phase.
Resources and Links
This is an excellent, comprehensive treatment of concrete basics, types, and production.
A very good description of producing and working with cellular concrete on a small scale is here.
A DOE investigation of aerated concrete for nuclear waste disposal referenced use of Mearle Geofoam surfactant in water pressurized to 100 psi, then fed to a foam generator. The foam was then fed directly into a concrete mixer.
Cellular Concrete – Mearlcrete Division sells foaming chemicals and generators for aerating concrete.
Elastizell Corporation makes detergent foam to be mixed with concrete using compressed air and a ‘special’ nozzle.
A major index of foamed concrete resources is at this contractor's organization site.
Here is a list of links to sites describing more of these projects, and references related to the history, politics, legality, and social theory of mid-ocean micronations.