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SQU pupils design concrete canoe.

Muscat A group of Civil Engineering students from the College of Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) have designed a concrete canoe, named Miracle, which floats on water.

"To design the concrete canoe, the students applied physics and concrete technologies such as Archimedes law, structural analysis, and application of different materials," according to a SQU press release on Sunday.

The research included techniques in concrete technology like binders, admixtures, fibres, fibre reinforcing and lightweight aggregate.

The objective of this project was to produce a low-density mix for the canoe to float, and to produce high strength, and design structure of the canoe which allows it to float above the water surface, by selecting the length, shape and depth of the canoe.

Amani Al Shaqsi, one of group members said that their work comprised two phases; in the first phase, the mould for the canoe was ready for casting. "In the second phase, several lightweight mix designs were developed in order to achieve the desired mix according to high strength and low density," she pointed out

"The project provided the students with an opportunity to gain hands-on, practical experience and leadership skills by working with concrete mix designs and project management," she added.

The production of the concrete canoe were done in five main stages.

The first step was the hull design which depends mainly on pure physics and dynamics. The second step was the structural analysis which depends on static and strength of materials courses, where the canoe is dealt with as a simply supported beam, and shear and bending moment diagrams.

The third step was the concrete mix design, where the students produced concrete with low density and strong in compression and tension. The mix -after hardening- must be flexible enough to transport tensile stresses to the reinforcement. The fourth step involved reinforcing the concrete to provide low density to the total composite, for example fibre mesh reinforcement. Finally, the fifth step was the construction process which included mould construction, casting and finishing.

Al Shaqsi further said that the main difficulties faced during the project was to collect the raw materials from outside market.

The canoe was tested in July and the experiment has been successful. The student group, EoACAyHelden', consisted of Al Shaqsi, Abdul Malek Al Qutaity, Aiman Al Gazali and Marwa Al Mukhaini. This is the first -ver successful attempt in the Arabian Gulf to build a concrete canoe that floats on water.

This student project was supervised by Dr Abdulla Al Saidi, Dr Salim Al Oraimi and Dr Ahmad Sana, academics in the Department of Civil & Architectural Engineering along with the technical staff in the Department.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 14, 2012
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