Geopolymer Concrete, the perfect seasteading material

(Nick Gencarelle) #266

Our UHPC compared to any other on the market right now is easily half the price. If a product can be less than half as thick, yet still be much stronger and last for many decades compared to cements in use today how would that not be cost effective? Using our basalt reinforcements in the ultra high performance or Geo-polymers or Mag phos[hate cements means you are getting the very best, strongest and lightest possible, longest lasting solution on the planet. We are not using powdered slag either.

(Larry G) #267

Too many people want everything to be free materials, or nearly so. If it’s not nearly free, they complain about barriers to poor people.

In one sense, this is a valid criticism in the Seasteading=Freedom from oppression context. However, it is as impractical as any college dorm philosophy discussion.

I got the same reaction when I proposed that a valid path to seasteading might be conversion of “played out” commercial vessels, where the residual value was not worth commercial financing and the value proposition for commercial shipping operations was no longer there (older vessels in need of repair of upgrades, that are not competitive in today’s market primarily due to containerization of cargoes and the massive size of modern cargo container operations.) Such a vessel might cost US$300k to US$5million. You immediately hear squawking about how that is out of reach for someone on social security. I’m sorry, but that is not a solvable problem.

Such a price is still easily in reach of a small business, or a co-op, or a group of friends (or at least people who are tightly-aligned in philosophy and goals.) These kinds of prices are regularly reached by people purchasing buildings for intentional communities, non-profits, and cooperative businesses.

Note that such a vessel can’t easily compete in mainstream cargo container shipping. That constraint means nothing when you change the paradigm to something else- mobile (chemical?) processing for smaller markets, who knows?

But to bring it back to geopolymer, it’s still a very reasonable candidate for building material. If geopoly costs 10x concrete, but concrete costs 10% of steel, and geopoly lasts 10x longer than steel with 1/10th the maintenance costs, then it’s still a viable material.

Hull costs are only about 20% of the overall cost of a build anyway.


I agree up to a point…

Unlike the ‘use half as much’, the budget restraint with geopolymer is the upfront cost, which is precisely why I have tried to experiment with making it, using alternative formulas. Until I have a stable environment to be able to consistently make and test experimental batches, I cannot move forward in that area.

In a similar way, I developed and documented a solid concept for a Thermo-Plastic Basalt Rebar, using available Ropes/Twines/Rovings. I don’t have the space, equipment, or funds to start making that, either. Why bother? It solves a compound problem, when building with composite rebar. Each bend adds spring tension to the structure. WHEN something finally REALLY gives, it will be a catastrophic failure, not just a small ‘oopsie’. I don’t want that to be me…

Counting on the rebar to cost more and the Geopolymer is one thing, but, at the price quoted for Geopolymer, in a wet, ready-mix, that HAS to be used within a certain time-frame precludes significant travel and I know of 1 (ONE) company in Texas, and it is too far away, adding significant transportation expenses to the already exorbitant price of Geopolymer… and there’s STILL the question of durability…

WILL it last a minimum of 40 years? 100? 1000? Can anyone design one object, in today’s society, adaptable enough to warrant that potential extended durability? It’s not something as basic as a Hammer, but a floating home, we’re considering… I have my thoughts on how to build in the ability to retrofit upgrades and intend to apply that to anything I build, even when I rebuild the RV I have. What else will have to be adapted, down the line? How do you plan for the replacement of obsolescent seals. deteriorated insulation, even repair damages and replace equipment, when you do not know a fairly precise length of service? How do you plan around the changing mentality of people? Say I build it and it’s expected to last 150 years before major tear-down and restoration… Is it worth my great-great-great grandson’s effort? Will it even BE in the family anymore?.., but I DO plan for that eventuality and hope the materials availability is up to the challenge.

(Larry G) #269

Most prematurely obsolescent shipping is due to efficiencies of container cargo scale, not due to being unfixable, in bad repair, or not operable in some way. (Although it’s entirely possible to squander the standard ~30 viable years of commercial service for regular steel vessels through lack of regular maintenance)

Consider that homes built 100 years ago are not obsolete. In many cases they have been torn down because they weren’t in good repair, and in some cases, homes in usable condition have been torn down to build more desirable ones, but this is usually driven by change in demographic wanting larger, fancier, homes, not necessarily because the originals weren’t usable. In some cases, modern appliances and heating solutions make the basic design less user friendly.

Consider that Europe has a large number of structures that have been continually occupied for literally hundreds of years.

The challenge is in the following aspects:
-Saltwater environment

If you can design something that has continuing operations and repair in mind, of a material that resists time and the environment well, that is still safe and comfortable in 100 years, people will still want to occupy it in 100 years.


Seaweed in Geopolymer…


Beginning @ 35:33

2nd portion begins at 44:32