Monday, June 19, 2006

Can Concrete Float?

You bet it can. As a matter of fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers has been sponsoring an annual concrete canoe competition for almost 20 years.

The race didn't originate in the U.S. There are a number of races around the world, but the Netherlands have had an annual race since 1972!

More here:


Dr. Thursday said...

Anything can float providing it weighs less than the water it displaces.

It may come as a shock, but I have heard that Saturn can float...

This brings up some interesting questions:

1. Where would we get that much water?

2. Once it was floating, what would we do with it?

Back when I was doing my doctorate, we thought up some answers to the second question. I'd post them, but you might want to try it yourself first....

Candlestring said...

Um... a giant beachball of sorts, Dr. Thursday?
Actually, I have first-hand experience with concrete canoes. I met my husband at SDSM&T when we were both members of the student chapter of ASCE there. Concrete canoes are fun to design, fun to build, and fun to race (when they don't swamp). The year after we left school (my DH with his BS in CE and me with my MRS and BABY) our school finally won the national competition. All those years of trial and error finally paid off.

The special concrete used has several high-tech additives that take the place of sand and gravel in traditional concrete. That's part of the reason it floats, but there are/were(?) actually battleships with concrete hulls and yes, it is only a matter of weight and displacement.