Concrete Canoe Launches in Oman
There have been a lot of bad jokes about “concrete shoes” and the bad things that might happen to someone wearing them if they were dropped into a large body of water. But what if that concrete could float? Some civil engineering students in Oman have designed a concrete canoe that does just that, according to a report in the Times of Oman.
The students, from the College of Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University, wanted to develop a low-density mix of concrete that would still be very strong as well as buoyant. The shape of the canoe was optimized for flotation, and the students experimented with a variety of concrete mixes.
The concrete had to be flexible enough to “transport tensile stresses to the reinforcement.” It appears the students reinforced the structure using a fiber mesh (according to this story in the Oman Daily Observer).
The Qaboos canoe was tested in July.
The students in Oman have joined a highly active subculture of concrete canoeing, the adherents of which hold international racing competitions. Most of the teams in these competitions come from engineering schools. The U.S. national competition is, in fact, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
You can see a brief video of a concrete canoe race at the University of Nevada below:
Source: Times of Oman