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  • I or H tiles and bricks for stronger, lighter assembled structures

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Peter Dow, Jan 8, 2013.

    1. Peter Dow

      Peter Dow Well-Known Member

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      I started discussing this idea in MDF first of all in the CAD forums 2D Drawings Gallery - Tessellated I - my simple technical drawing, coloured artfully - because initially I only had computer graphics images to show for my efforts - but I didn't get any replies to my topic there. :(

      At last I have a physical model made and some real images and a video to show you so, being as how that's not really a 2-D drawing nor a CAD image of any kind, I am starting this new topic in the main design forum to see if anyone here will reply?

      3-Dimensional model video

      [​IMG][​IMG]

      [​IMG][​IMG]

      [​IMG]



      Tessellated I or H bricks and tiles for stronger, lighter assembled structures (YouTube)

      This video shows my model of the 3-dimensional shape of a simple structure composed of 6 bricks or tiles, each of which, when viewed from one-direction anyway, are a 2-dimensional "I"-shape (equally when rotated by 90 degrees "H"-shaped).

      This model has been made from aluminium tubing and in order to distinguish one brick from another they have been coloured using marker pens - so there are two bricks coloured blue, two coloured green and two coloured red. This colouring was necessary for clarity because otherwise the permanent joints within bricks (which are only an artifact of the method to make a brick from square tubing) might be confused with the simple touching surface where two neighbouring bricks abut, abutting securely but without being in any way stuck by glue etc.

      This 3-Dimensional model reveals a further design feature of the I or H brick and tile structures, which secures the bricks and tiles together in 2 further dimensions, some such feature being necessary because the 2-D I or H shape in of itself only secures the bricks together in 1 dimension.

      This feature is revealed here to be nothing more complicated than dowels or fixing rods which run in the vertical direction of the Is (or the horizontal direction of the Hs) through shafts in the Is' bases and tops and which serve to lock the tops and bases of neighbouring Is together, preventing movement radially from the dowels.

      These dowels may henceforth be referred to as "Mazurka Dowels" named after the username of a scientist in an internet science forum who first correctly anticipated this feature of my 3-D design and its function to hold the structure together in all 3-dimensions, in a reply post to my topic there describing in detail only the 2-D tessellation, suggesting somewhat vaguely that some such design element was required for a good 3-D design with a view to seeing who would suggest the solution I had thought of first.

      As I explained in that topic I could hardly call those dowels the "Dow dowels" there being too many dows in that name and anyway, my name can be used to reference this particular shape of I or H tile and brick and structures composed of them, as per "Dow tile" "Dow brick" "Dow I-tile" "Dow H-brick" "Dow I-H-brick" "Dow I-H-brick structure" "Dow I-structure" etc.

      I did mention possible materials and applications in the other topic in the 2-D drawing gallery forum if anyone wants to contribute ideas here or there about any of that I'd welcome your input. Thanks.
       
      Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2016
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    3. Peter Dow

      Peter Dow Well-Known Member

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      HI-BRICKS & DOWELS demonstration video



      HI-BRICKS & DOWELS demonstration video by Peter Dow (YouTube)

      Transcript of the video

      [​IMG]

      Hi everybody and welcome to my "H" / "I" Bricks or HI-BRICKS & DOWELS demonstration video.

      This is Peter Dow from Aberdeen, Scotland.

      There are two components to a HI-BRICKS & DOWELS construction -
      • the BRICKS, which you can either describe as "H"-shaped or "I"-shaped, depending on which way you turn them around
      • and the DOWELS
      [​IMG]

      The shape of the "H" or "I" bricks is designed so that they fit together to form a layer or a wall of bricks and importantly, the bricks, just by their very shape, immobilise each other from moving, in one dimension only.

      Let's have a look at that.

      Let's consider this green brick here as the fixed point.

      We can see that it immobilises its neighbouring bricks in one dimension. They can't move with respect to the green brick in this dimension. So that's locked. Even though there is no bricks here or here, the very shape stops it moving in that dimension.

      Now the shape doesn't stop the bricks moving with respect to each other in that direction, or in that direction but they are fixed in that one dimension.

      [​IMG]

      Now if we want to make a rigid structure of bricks in all three dimensions but without using mortar or glue so that we can assemble and disassemble the structure whenever we like, what we need next are the DOWELS.

      As you can see, the "I" or "H" bricks have shafts running through the corners so that you can run a dowel through the corners - two shafts, four holes per "I" or "H" brick.

      And when you assemble the bricks you can slide the dowel in ... and this forms a structure which is rigid in all three dimensions, which is what we need to form structures.
       
      Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2016
    4. maniacal_engineer

      maniacal_engineer Well-Known Member

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      So, if I am a mason, how do I lay these bricks? By which I mean, it is an interesting tesselation, but the same self lock property that makes it so useful also makes it impossible to assemble by the customary stacking process.
       
    5. Peter Dow

      Peter Dow Well-Known Member

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      Well if building a wall of HI-bricks there are two possible orientations for the bricks - the "I"-way up, or the "H" way up.

      For the "I"-way up brick walls you slide the I-bricks in from the side - like using a putter in golf except that it's a brick not a putter.

      Lay a brick then secure it with a dowel section. Dowel sections slot into each other with one end of the dowel shaped something like this -

      [​IMG]

      and the other end with the female socket equivalent.

      For the "H"-way up brick walls, the H-bricks do stack vertically into place but this way you need to use very short, half-brick sized dowel sections to stack and slide the dowels in place, assuming you want to lay rows of bricks one on top of another instead of a more complicated scheme.

      I am not sure what orientation will turn out to be best for laying walls, I or H. Both should work but it may be that one way is easier and quicker to put up.

      I would expect that in the roll out of any such product for market there'd be courses run on laying these bricks by the sales team for free to help promote sales.

      This is early days yet. There will be new techniques of HI-brick structure building to develop and refine. It will different for sure, but not beyond the ability of a bricklayer I am confident.
       
    6. mvalenti

      mvalenti Well-Known Member

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      Interesting concept, nice work. I understand its in its infancy and not trying to be critical, the sharp inside corners are certain stress risers and should be minimized. I'll be following this thread, cool stuff!

      -my .02 cents
       
    7. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

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      Areed. Great work Peter!
       
    8. Michael Ross

      Michael Ross Well-Known Member

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      My intuition says that any racking loads will break this structure. That doesn't mean there are not ways to mitigate the effect, but that is what worries me. If the tubes did not float inside the blocks then there would be less of a problem. Ceramics are poor in tension compared to these metal parts you have made. Be careful not to be lead astray by these prototypes of an non-representative material.
       
    9. Lukas

      Lukas New Member

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      I had a quick read of the other forum.

      I suppose the first and main question to me is, where would you see such construction being applied? Are you thinking more about toys/building bricks or housing?

      For the latter, I saw a few intersting suggestions about using insulation instead of dowels. But then due to the nature of the blocks you would end up with cold bridging. Whilst the example below solves that problem by providing a continious band of insulation.

      [​IMG]

      As seen below, it kind of implies a similar concept - running through steel reinforcement and then pouring down concrete to create rigidity. It could be done using dowels too (to keep it temporary). In that case is the concept of using an I-form much of an advantage in comparison to this?

      [​IMG]


      I think you see it as a temporary structure, but then the question is the application of it. Can't remember if it was you or someone else who mentioned using it as temporary construction in disaster-struck places. I think the problem with that often is that such things have to be manufactured in the developed world and then shipped far away which is expensive, inefficient and takes a long time (even if they were somehow manufactured in the same country). Projects focusing on temporary housing in such situations tend to focus on using local materials and local resources to bring down cost and any other complications (so that people could do it themselves at any given time when required).

      So having ruled that out, where else do you see temporary construction being used? Would it be possible to make a similar system using timber? Currently cross-laminated-timber construction is becoming more popular. It's an inexhaustible source and can also be a temporary solution if dowels are used instead of glue/nails. Following regulations and the general shift towards sustainable architecture - it would probably be interesting to see a similar/temporary solution using timber rather than steel/concrete.

      Could it be used as a temporary storage unit on an oil rig? Simple assembly, ship some over there and crane it into place (where the use of timber may be a bad idea...) ?

      I am not having an attack on you, just pointing out things to stir up some discussion or get some answers to my questions. First time I saw the video - I thought that's pretty damn clever and wish I had come up with that!

      Lukas
       
      Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
    10. bradely

      bradely Member

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      " lukas "
      Well as far as the insulation is concern so it is really made you right solution and would must not effect on the strength of the bricks and you also can get the same design as you have designed.
       

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