(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘construction

“They swore by concrete. They built for eternity.”*…

 

These are interesting times for the concrete industry. After the misery of the 2008 financial crisis, construction in America is back in rude health, albeit patchily. Texas, California, and Colorado are all “very hot,” attendees say, as places where new hotels and homes and offices are being built. Demand is so high in these states that concrete-pump manufacturers are apparently having trouble filling orders. Employees worry that with baby boomers retiring, there isn’t the skilled labor force in place to do the work.

But America’s public infrastructure is still a mess—rusting rebars and cracked freeways stand as miserable testaments to a lack of net investment. It’s a complex and cross-party problem, as James Surowiecki has described in The New Yorker. Republicans have shied away from big-government investment– though of course Trump paved his pathway to the White House with pledges to build roads, hospitals, and, of course, a “great great wall”– and the increasing need to get the nod from different government bodies makes it hard to pass policy. For politicians keen on publicity, grand plans for big new things are exciting. But the subsequent decades of maintenance are thankless and dull…

Georgina Voss reports from World of Concrete, the concrete and masonry industry’s massive trade gathering—a five-day show that attacts more than 60,000 attendees.

How the construction business and the politics of the moment are mixed for the pour: “Welcome to the SXSW of Concrete.”

Pair with this piece on the state of dams in the U.S.

* Günter Grass

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As we wait for it to set, we might recall that it was on this date in 1845 that a method for manufacturing elastic (rubber) bands was patented in Britain by Stephen Perry and and Thomas Barnabas Daft of London (G.B. No. 13880/1845).

In the early 19th century, sailors had brought home items made by Central and South American natives from the sap of rubber trees, including footwear, garments and bottles.  Around 1820, a Londoner named Thomas Hancock sliced up one of the bottles to create garters and waistbands. By 1843, he had secured patent rights from Charles Macintosh for vulcanized india rubber.  (Vulcanization made rubber stable and retain its elasticity.)  Stephen Perry, owner of Messrs Perry and Co,. patented the use of india rubber for use as springs in bands, belts, etc., and (with Daft) also the manufacture of elastic bands by slicing suitable sizes of vulcanized india rubber tube.  The bands were lightly scented to mask the smell of the treated rubber.

 source

 

Written by LW

March 17, 2017 at 1:01 am

Dream homes…

 

Facit Homes has claimed to be the first builder to use digital technology to fabricate a bespoke home on site (the one above, built for a couple in the UK).  Managing Director Bruce Bell explains, “we bring our compact high-tech machine to site and make it there and then—its an amazingly efficient way of designing and making a house.”

As GizMag reports,

Facit Homes first designs the house using a 3D computer model, which contains every aspect from its orientation, material quantities, even down to the position of individual plug sockets. The patented “D-Process” then transforms the 3D digital designs into the home’s exact physical building components, using a computer controlled cutter. These components are usually made from engineered spruce ply and are light and easy enough to then be assembled together on site. Since the components are produced on demand, costs are kept to a minimum and lead times are eradicated. “It’s not a building system but a way of working,” said Bell…

Read the full story here; and watch the process in the video here:

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As we work on a new welcome mat, we might recall that it was on this date in 1986 that Oprah first entered homes across America:  this is the anniversary of the first national airing of The Oprah Winfrey Show.  It went on, of course, to become the highest-rated syndicated show in television history.

A September, 1986 ad from TV Guide

source (and other such ads)

 

 

Fractal lifting…

 

A massive LR 13000 crawler crane lifted three other cranes (totaling 1,430 tonnes) in this product demonstration by heavy equipment manufacturer Liebherr. The demonstration began with Liebherr’s smallest crawler crane, the 62 tonne LR 1100, lifting a toy train. The LR 1100 was then lifted by the 288 tonne LR1350, which was then lifted by the 1,080 tonne LR11350 which was then lifted by the LR 13000. According to the manufacturer, the LR 13000 is the largest crane of its kind. The demo occurred in June during an open house event at the Liebherr factory in Ehingen/Donau, Germany.

More photos at Laughing Squid; video of the demo here.

***

As we feel the lift, we might recall that it was on this date in 1936 that Henry F. Phillips received several U.S. patents for the Phillips-head screw and screwdriver.  Phillips founded the Phillips Screw Company to license his patents, and persuaded the American Screw Company to manufacture the screws.  General Motors was convinced to use the screws on its 1937 Cadillac; by 1940, virtually every American automaker had switched to Phillips screws.

 source

Written by LW

July 7, 2012 at 1:01 am

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