. . . so here's my new process, thankfully i have a place to press (outside) where i don't have to clean up after myself. don't worry, it's all just water and straw. . . it's healthy for the soil underneath the grating. below is my new block and process. pico was put to good use. soon pico and paco will be combined to press a larger object. this was just a test, a test to see if i can press fine detailed corners with these fibers to make the blocks "lock" to each other. this test was conducted 1/3 the size of what the actual block will be. it worked well.

pico and paco


. . . this is my new press that i just finished fabricating today. i shall post pics of my new blocks soon.

i have found very many interesting stuff in regards to building technology at the "world of concrete." ultrafiber is one that i'm particularly interested in. they come in bags, about 1/4" thick squares of synthetic polymer. when they are hydropulped - fibers are created to make a cellulose composition with concrete that makes it stronger. i talked to these guys and they were very interesting.

i also talked to the vp of nycon. i had a great conversation with him in regards to a natural fiber (AC217 Conc.w/virgin cellulose fibers) vs. a synthetic fiber (AC32 Conc.w/synthetic fibers) to make concrete stronger. he's done tests on numerous fibers and found that natural fibers break down faster due to the alkalinity of concrete, therefore making the concrete weaker over an extended period of time. they are mass producers of fiberglass and metal fibers for concrete. . . i'm wondering if there is a process of preserving straw fibers so they won't react too fast with concrete. . . or vice versa - is there a concrete (or other material) that is not alkalinic to break natural plant fibers down that is capable of holding a capacity for building - economically?

i couldn't find much on "gunite" or "shotcrete". . . although, i found very many cool expensive machines that are capable of doing it.

the hoover dam was awesome. i should have pics of it up on my blog soon.


so, i'm trying to find a new dialogue with this material - perhaps concrete, as suggested by bill and matt. a few of us are headed to las vegas for the "world of concrete." hence, the concrete coated hexagons. i'm particularly interested in shotcrete/gunite and hope to learn more about this process at the "world of concrete." currently, i'm designing a press for my "new mold" so i can process blocks faster than before. this semester's going to be frantic.
"new mold"
concrete covered straw hex's
"new work space"