CD Designs Blog
1. People make ships out of it.
Although it might sound completely crazy, people have been making concrete ships and smaller boats since at least 1848. A concrete boat built in 1917 is still afloat, and is apparently being used as a floating clubhouse on the U.K’s river Medway.
Because of steel shortages during WWI and WWII, a number of concrete war-ships were made. Most were used as naval store ships, before eventually being either permanently anchored, or sometimes sunk, post-war to create breakwaters. Despite what you might expect, a concrete ship will sink at exactly the same rate as one made of more traditional materials.
Not all war-time concrete ships ended up as breakwaters, however. A few had post-war adventures almost bizarre enough to suit ships made from concrete. The S.S. San Pasqual was converted into an oil tanker. It ran aground on the coast of Cuba, was re-fitted and used as a prison, and, logically enough, is now a ten room hotel.
The type of concrete used to construct these craft is more properly known as ferro-cement, and is made by combining cement with sand to form a plaster-like mix, which is then applied over a steel mesh frame. Whilst quite different from the concrete we use for our driveways and patios, it works on the same principles; aggregate bound together by cement.
Smaller concrete boats are still being made today. It’s a cost effective and relatively simple way of ensuring a watertight hull, ferro-cement having the same excellent level of water resistance as the concrete used by Complete Driveway Designs in our domestic and commercial projects.
8th March 2010