Researchers create massive concrete forms that can be moved by hand

Shane McGlaun - Apr 22, 2019, 8:21 am CDT
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Researchers create massive concrete forms that can be moved by hand

Usually, when big stone or concrete forms need to be moved, the moving happens with the help of a massive crane. A research firm caleld CEMEX global R&D worked with MIT researchers to create the giant stones that can be moved easily by hand with no heavy equipment needed. The stones can be stacked into different constructs depending on the need.

The rounded edges and handle points are meant to create objects that can be rocked, tilted, and rolled into place. The objects are caleld MMUs or massive masonry units, and their center of mass is calibrated precisely for mobility. The design uses variable density concrete calibrated precisely to control stability.

The team behind the structures started by studying ancient civilization and were inspired by the moai statues on Easter Island. These massive statues weigh up to 82 tons each and were reportedly moved by “walking” themselves. The team says that real-life applications could make it easier and cheaper to build in areas that are hard to access. It might also make for simpler to assemble and disassemble structures.

That could eliminate the need to demolish a structure and rebuild. The grab points on the large concrete stones can have a handle of sorts attached. The parts connect together like puzzle pieces.

It’s not clear exactly how the components could be transported from one area to another. Presumably, they can be walked onto a trailer or other method of transport for the trip to the build destination.

Presumably, they would need to be lifted by a crane onto a flatbed for long distance transportation. The team says that the components could be used to build all sorts of structures including platforms, walls, and staircases.


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