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How would I test bamboo vs. steel reninforcement?


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I'm an 8th grader. Actually, I'm not sure if this belongs in this forum, either, but I'm doing a science fair project about bamboo being an alternative to steel reinforcement in concrete walls/buildings/infrastructure. The thing is, I'm having trouble with testing the models themselves. Should I just start randomly pounding the models with a hammer or some bricks?  Power hammers are too expensive and I don't have access to one (not sure how I would test the models with that either). I'm thinking about maybe motorizing the hammer with Arduino and some bits but wouldn't that be too weak to support a whole hammer? Any motor recommendations? What are your thoughts? 

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Reinforcement is used to increase strength. Your best test would be to support concrete beam/slab/test object under the 2 ends and add a load to the middle until you reach failure of the concrete component.  If you use hammers or drills to break through you'll only be testing the strength of the actual concrete that you are trying to get through. 

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I would prepare three scaled models of beams for multiple rounds of  testing. 1 with no reinforcement, 1 with steel, 1 with bamboo.

Make sure your beams are all the same size and increase the span to something that doesn't require a super heavy load to crack. Make your depth as shallow as possible to allow tension to control.

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I'm an 8th grader. Actually, I'm not sure if this belongs in this forum, either, but I'm doing a science fair project about bamboo being an alternative to steel reinforcement in concrete walls/buildings/infrastructure. The thing is, I'm having trouble with testing the models themselves. Should I just start randomly pounding the models with a hammer or some bricks?  Power hammers are too expensive and I don't have access to one (not sure how I would test the models with that either). How can I prove that bamboo is as efficient as steel in reinforcement?

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  • 2 weeks later...
20 minutes ago, ptatohed said:

Please don't double post.  I merged the two threads. 

Bringing the hammer down on an 8th grader! Ptato don't care how old or young you are, no double posting GD! :oldman:

LOL

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/23/2018 at 11:26 AM, matt267 PE said:

I'm guessing he won the Science Fair? :dunno:

 

On 1/6/2018 at 8:39 PM, youngmotivatedengineer said:

Reinforcement is used to increase strength. Your best test would be to support concrete beam/slab/test object under the 2 ends and add a load to the middle until you reach failure of the concrete component.  If you use hammers or drills to break through you'll only be testing the strength of the actual concrete that you are trying to get through. 

Thank you for your reply! I actually went with this design and added more kettlebells on a chain until the tensile ends broke

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On 1/23/2018 at 4:07 PM, knight1fox3 said:

Bringing the hammer down on an 8th grader! Ptato don't care how old or young you are, no double posting GD! :oldman:

LOL

I was so afraid I wouldn't get any replies before the research plan was due, but yea i won't double post anymore lol

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On 1/9/2018 at 8:24 AM, matt267 PE said:

@8thgradertiff

That sounds like a fun project. 

Have you researched why steel is used to reinforce concrete?

Edit:

Why type of "models" are you using? 

Steel has strong tensile strength, but somewhere in my research I found that bamboo fibers have a pretty high tensile strength too. I'm using thin concrete models

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13 hours ago, 8thgradertiff said:

I'm a she lol

Sorry about that. 

13 hours ago, 8thgradertiff said:

the district fair is this saturday

Good luck.

13 hours ago, 8thgradertiff said:

added more kettlebells on a chain until the tensile ends broke

What were your findings? 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/12/2018 at 1:50 PM, tj_PE said:

I'm also curious what your results were! And I hope it went well this weekend!

I actually got first in Materials Science! I'm supposed to give a presentation to the Rotary Club this Saturday, and the GA State Fair is next month!

On 2/9/2018 at 11:07 AM, matt267 PE said:

Sorry about that. 

Good luck.

What were your findings? 

Bamboo withheld more mass than the steel ; I actually was unsure about which size rods to use since bamboo is really light while still encompassing more surface area, while steel alloys are so heavy. So I just made a limit of less than 1 pound for both.  The engineer who judged my project threw some really hard questions though-- he asked about the heat capacity and the time it would take to collapse, both of which I did not test. Any tips on how to test this?

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6 hours ago, 8thgradertiff said:

I actually got first in Materials Science

That's awesome! Gongrats.

6 hours ago, 8thgradertiff said:

The engineer who judged my project threw some really hard questions though-- he asked about the heat capacity and the time it would take to collapse, both of which I did not test. Any tips on how to test this?

I'm a water resources guy, not structural, so others might be able to help here better than I can. But steel elongates and weakens when heated. Think 1000 deg f in a structure fire. 

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2008/814137/

You could have a teacher/parent help you take a blow torch to the models while under load.

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What about placement of your steel/concrete in your test beam?  I hope you discovered that the closer the reinforcing is to the tension side of your beam, then the greater the strength/capacity of the beam.

As far as modeling or demonstrating resistance to heat effects the temperatures could get substantial.  Do some research on the subject to see the order of magnitude.  A physical demonstration may not be practical.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm back again with another question! So I won 1st in Director's Choice in the State Science Fair and I was offered to continue my research in a lab setting! I understand that continuing to rely on bamboo rods would be impractical, they absorb water, are prone to igniting on fire, void in rod area of larger species, etc., so I'm thinking about research on bamboo fibers. I would have to do extensive research on this since I really don't know anything about weaving(?) fibers, but if anyone has any suggestions that'd be great!

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@8thgradertiff, congrats on your success. Sounds like a good opportunity to experiment with different types of "weaving" patters too. For example; straight, spiral, braid, etc. Have you thought about treating the bamboo before placing it in the concrete? Rebar is treated to help prevent rusting. 

If you succeed, I'm going to stop making fun of "basket weaving" as a college course.   

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