Just Add Water: Flexible Tent Becomes Concrete Shelter
Posted ago by Baron
If you haven’t heard of Concrete Canvas, allow us to fill you in. Concrete Canvas is a British company that designed and manufactures a truly amazing material: a cement-impregnated fabric that is light and flexible when dry, but hardens into a concrete shell when exposed to water, in as little as 24 hours. While the fabric holds boundless potential, its newest application may also be the most compelling: the Concrete Canvas Shelter. When dry, the shelter functions much like a tent, and can be erected by two untrained users in less than an hour. However, once the erected structure is hosed down with water, it hardens into a solid cement bunker, providing waterproof, fireproof, and possibly bulletproof shelter to anyone within. In short, think of it as an inflatable concrete building.
More than just a temporary refuge, these cement shelters offer all of the functionality you’d expect in a man-made structure. The largest model features nearly 550 square feet of space, with lockable doors and the potential for indoor lighting fixtures. Individual units can also be covered with snow, dirt and other materials, providing additional insulation against the elements. With a minimum design life of 10 years, Concrete Canvas’ shelters will likely be seen in a variety of civilian and military applications, from pop-up medical centers to affordable refugee housing.
While these shelters may be one of the most exciting applications for Concrete Canvas, the development team has wasted no time in devising further use cases. Currently, contractors use the fabric to line ditches, walls and cables, and it has also seen heavy use as a quick-deploy barrier against mudslides. Which begs the question: how would YOU use it?