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    This Years Concrete Canoe Competitions!

    In a previous article we’ve already talked about the rather bizarre phenomenon of concrete canoes – certainly a whole world away from pattern imprinted concrete driveways! As a quick recap, you can experiment with aggregates to create concrete that will remain buoyant, and in America they even have a National Concrete Canoe Competition!

    Concrete Canoe Competition - Oregon State University

    Concrete Canoe Competition - Oregon State University

    This competition brings together students from all over America to compete and see who can build the best concrete canoe! This year’s competition is happening between June 16th and June 18th at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana. Last year’s competition was won by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

    This year has seen the phenomenon grow in popularity – concrete canoes were also being judged at the 2011 Mid-Continent Student Conference, held at K-state university Kansas between April 27th and April 30th. In this competition, the canoes were judged in four categories:

    • An oral presentation: discussing the team’s construction and design methodology
    • A technical paper: detailing the design of the canoe, technical specs, blueprints and whatever else is relevant
    • A canoe race: which team can perform best with their canoe?
    • Aesthetics of the final product

    Image by Oregon State University

    Things you Never Knew About Concrete #8

    Concrete Canoes.

    In this series of blogs, we’ve previously mentioned ferrocement ships. Well, here’s another example of one of concrete’s most counter-intuitive properties – the fact that, depending on its composition, it’ll float. By messing around with aggregates it’s possible to come up with a number of different types of concrete which will remain buoyant.

    It’s with this in mind that the annual concrete canoe competition was started in America. It’s a competition open to engineering and civil engineering students at American universities, and it’s been running for over 30 years, in one form or another.

    According to the official concrete canoe competition…

    “Students’ efforts to combine engineering excellence and hydrodynamic design to construct water-worthy canoes have culminated in an advanced form of concrete construction and racing technique known as the ‘America’s Cup of Civil Engineering.’“

    We wonder what those American students could do with some pattern imprinting mats. There are a lot of videos on Youtube of the annual concrete canoe race. One thing that you’ll notice if you watch a few of them, is that although concrete canoes are remarkably buoyant – and pretty nippy – they aren’t the best looking boats out there. Those students have neglected the final stages – pattern imprinting and sealing.

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