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The Emergence of Concrete Form Liners in Architecture


Chris Robertson

More and more architects, engineers and contractors are using concrete not only as a structural construction material, but also as a means of architectural art and expression.

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They accomplish this by skillfully adding a textures and patterns to the normally featureless surface of the concrete. Creating these effects requires proper use of the concrete form liners that serve as a secondary mold inside the primary structural forming systems and impose the chosen patterns onto the curing concrete. The results can be stunning and add a whole new dimension to architectural and engineering design.

What this means is that formliners are assuming a more important role in the overall design and construction process. Architects, engineers and builders must know formliner properties and what types of form liner to use for a given project. They must know where to look for specific formliners patterns, how to specify the proper liners for different substructures, and how to build formliners into the overall scheduling and procurement process. This may sound easy, but it is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced as part of professional training.

While formliners provide an artistic means of expression, the use of them requires detailed and specific knowledge. An architect may have to decide between using single-use polystyrene formliners that are discarded and multi-use ABS formliners that can be used up to ten times or more. He or she may have to decide whether to use a plastic formliner, an urethane formliner, or a premium elastomeric type that combines resilience and high tensile strength. Picking one or the other means trade-offs between durability, quality and cost, and can thus have a significant impact on budgets.

Learning how to best use formliners requires not only training and experience, but also teamwork and cooperation with the chosen formliner maker. Selecting one may be via bidding process or simply working with a company that offers a suitably large product selection and the desired level of service. A good formliner company will be able to generate custom tooled patterns when a specified design is not commercially available. They will also have trained staff capable of interpreting complex contract plans and producing detailed shop drawings. Being able to adhere to production schedules and costs is mandatory for a formliner company, as is making sure that all their products meet Department of Transportation specs. Formliner makers are also called upon to provide expert advice on proper trimming, attachment to formwork, optimal placement of ties, and the use of rustications at joints to for a continuous, cohesive look.

If you’re in the construction industry and seek to make use of concrete form liners, keep the above in mind when selecting a company to work with. If you’re not very familiar with formliners, check out one of the available catalogs to get an idea of the wealth of textures and patterns available. Whether it’s brick, block, rock, wood grain, flutes or fins, it’s all available in numerous looks and designs, and new patterns are being added all the time. Concrete used to have a reputation as a stark, drab construction material. Thanks to formliners, that is no longer the case.Chris Robertson

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Thursday, August 9, 2007 

Investigators say that flaws in the design of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota may have caused it to collapse and that the design flaw is not “unique” to the Minneapolis bridge.

According to an ongoing investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the flaw was found in the steel plates connected to girders, which are large support beams used in construction and connect the plates together. It is reported that extra stress from construction equipment might have caused the plates to separate, causing the bridge to collapse.

The flaw has not yet been confirmed to be the source of the disaster, and the NTSB says that the investigation could take several months to fully be completed.

At least six people were killed and at least eight are missing, whilst over 100 are injured after the bridge collapsed on August 1.

Sunday, January 13, 2013 

Despite earlier cooler weather, heatwave conditions are expected to resume in New South Wales, Australia. Local weather service forecasts expect temperatures to rise above 40°C (104°F), as-experienced earlier in the week. The percentage of uncontained fires jumped as high as 20%. On Friday, local fire authorities have declared total fire bans across Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Fire crews at the east coast of Australia are readying to battle an increased rate of bushfires during the weekend.

Uncontrolled fires have also been burning across the states of Tasmania, Victoria, and Queensland.

Extremely hot weather and strong winds played havoc with the fires early in the week. A minor change in the weather assisted crews on Thursday but the high temperatures are set to return on Friday and through the weekend.

Thirty devastating fires in Tasmania are now being controlled after burning 130 properties and 110,000 hectares of land throughout the past week.

In Victoria there are two significant fires being fought with several others now under control but concerns remain for the weekend with the temperature forecast to rise to 42°C in the north of the state.

Queensland firefighters continued to battle fires north of of the capital Brisbane on Bribie Island, with at least 22 fires still burning throughout the state.

New South Wales has 120 fires burning as of Friday with 370,000 hectares of land, 10,000 livestock and one property already destroyed.

Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Rob Rogers briefed reporters on the bushfires at the Rural Fire Service Headquarters on Friday.

“They are very large, all either in excess or very close to 10,000 hectares (and) in some cases 100 kilometres of fireline. That’s an awful lot of fireline for firefighters to monitor and obviously that’s going to be troubling over today and particularly tomorrow when it will be even hotter.”

One fire at Dean’s Gap in New South Wales had authorities concerned due to its proximity to an old military range that contains unexploded ordinances at Tianjara plateau. Firefighters have used earth moving equipment to create containment lines and specialised gel to protect the range.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010  File:FrenchSpiderMan HongKong.jpg

48-year old Alain Robert, affectionately known as the ‘French Spiderman’, has climbed a 57-storey {[w|Sydney}} skyscraper without any equipment in 20 minutes. The purpose of Alain Robert’s actions was to raise awareness of global warming. Following the previous like events in other cities, he was arrested and will possibly be fined.

When Robert was 12, he climbed eight storeys to get into his flat instead of waiting for his parents to return. Since then, he has climbed over eighty buildings around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, The New York Times building, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. His hobby has, however, led to him being arrested and fined on multiple occasions—he was fined USD 750 after climbing the 41-storey Royal Bank of Scotland building in central Sydney.

His most recent climb, which he completed in twenty minutes, began at the bottom of the Lumiere building in Bathurst Street at 10:30am AEST on Monday morning. About 100 passers-by gathered to watch Robert, dressed in red trousers, a grey top, and a baseball cap, climb the building. Eleven-year-old Rachel Pepper was surprised when he saw Robert, who suffers from permanent vertigo after two accidents in 1982. “I think it’s amazing to climb that high without falling. He’s got superhuman strength.” His mother Wendy Pepper agreed, “It was a nice surprise when we turned the corner and got to see him.”

Upon reaching the top of the building, the Frenchman unfurled a banner advertising the website of The One Hundred Months campaign, which argues that 100 months after August 2008, climate change will reach an irreversible point, as onlookers applauded his feat. Robert was subsequently taken into custody at the top of the skyscraper, and charged with trespassing. Robert was granted conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Friday. Robert’s agent, Max Markson, described the climb as a “wonderful achievement. He’s the best at what he does. I’m sad he’s been arrested, but hopefully he’ll get out soon.”

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Submitted by: Dian Afrial

Do you have a collection of photographs? Do not let the photos were just lying in the hard disk. Make it into a product that’s attractive and nice views. Example, by using this program – Muvee Reveal 8.0. You can create slideshows with attractive designs and animations that are different from other slideshow maker program.

On the main page of Muvee Reveal 8.0, you’ll find four main areas for making slideshows. Beginning from the area of insertion photos, the determination of style, music, and preview, it can be said as the process flow, complete with its number. You just click Add button in each area to include photos and music. Style slideshow provided quite a lot.

These style has good design with modern animation and sometimes it can move to the music that you submit. You simply specify styles and music, the program will process and arrange it into a slideshow of interesting impressions simply by pressing play button on the preview area. With this automated process, you do not have to worry about how many images you submit to the length of music, even Muvee Reveal will give advice if you enter a number of photographs which is still lacking or excessive. In addition, you can add a caption on the photo that you think describe the special circumstances for you.

On the insertion photos, all the information about the image can be found by right clicking. You can even corrects red-eye effect or modest effect on the image you selected. To perfection slideshow, Muvee Reveal 8.0 also provides freedom for you to give credit title or preface in the slideshow. In the Personalize, you can add company logos and sound narration. All settings are located in every area on the main page. So, practically, in the menu bar there is only File and Help menus. Such settings is of course easier for users.

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Is that all? No, you definitely wouldn t be satisfied if you don t take advantage of existing features in Muvee Reveal. Yes, Muvee Reveal is video software that is easy and simple but has a feature that is needed for its users.

There are some features that are useful for you:

1) You do not need to worry about how many images that you inserted to suit the length of music, Muvee Reveal will give tips or advice if the photos are inserted more or less.

2) Now you can add information or text on each photo. Simply right click on the photo At the inserting images area, then click the caption.

3) You don t worry if your photos have red eye effect, you can correct it.

4) Magic Spot, by utilizing this feature you can spot in your picture to get the zoom effect.

5) In the Personalize, you can add Title, Credit, include a Logo, insert the voice over. Any of the settings.

Muvee Reveal 8.0 provides many formats that are created in your slideshow. Besides can be stored in video format, PSP, and other portable multimedia devices, Muvee Reveal 8.0 also provides a shared to-email, facebook, or youtube. That way, relatives or colleagues you can enjoy your work.

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Submitted by: Jeff Noctis

As long as we have had the ability to record music and sound, there has been a continuing drive to improve recording technology for the betterment our listening experience.

In 1935 AEG released the first reel to reel system that functioned using tape. Years following the release, companies continued to improve on the basic reel to reel design and technology in an effort to improve quality. In 1958, RCA Victor attempted to market a user friendly reel-to-reel quality tape format for the average consumer. Like the open reel tape decks, the RCA Victor tape recorder used a stereo, quarter-inch, reel to reel tape – but the tape was inside a cartridge that looked like an oversized standard audio cassette. It was about 5 by 7 inches and was half an inch thick. Unfortunately the design was large, offered few pre-recorded music recordings, and like many tapes of the time – had no fast forward feature (although it did have rewind). Thus, the format commonly known as “Sound Tape” subsequently failed and was pulled from the market in 1962. Philips also looked to develop a compact reel to reel tape and in 1962 improved on RCA Victor’s design by inventing the Compact Cassette (commonly known as the standard cassette). It was the Philips Compact Cassette which was released to the public in 1963 (Europe) and 1964 (United States) that would eventually become the dominant and popular means for recording speech, music and even data for computers.

Some pushed back against Philips during this period and in 1976 they attempted to create a cassette tape that would provide the familiar convenience and versatility of the Compact Cassette with the quality that was offered on reel to reel systems. The product was known as the Elcaset, considered a shortening of “large cassette” (“El” replacing the letter “L”) because the cassette itself was much larger and the tape within was 1/4″ as opposed to the 1/8″ tape found in common cassettes.

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The Elcaset was actually more than twice as large as a standard cassette tape and contained quarter inch tape running at 3.75 ips – twice the width and twice the speed of the standard cassette that had become so popular during the 70’s. This increased speed and tape size provided a higher quality sound similar to that of the open reel tape decks which were considered higher quality than Compact Cassettes.

Other improvements also gave the Elcaset a lot of potential for success because it offered the same perks as an open reel deck including separate heads and various controls. Despite the technical superiority of the product, the Elcaset came at a time when the world was already dug into the concept of the standard Compact Cassette tape and it wasn’t about to let go. Much like the 1958 release by RCA Victor the Elcaset from Sony was doomed to fail.

The biggest issue for the Sony product was the fact that the standard cassette tape and tape decks were receiving steady improvements. With new materials being used in production such as Chromium Dioxide along with Dolby B noise reduction the Compact Cassette was quickly becoming the choice medium for recording sounds – especially music (not bad for a format originally intended just for dictation).

The Elcaset was a cleverly designed system that offered superior sound quality. However, the record labels never released prerecorded music Elcasets. Thus no one was interested in investing in the equipment or the tapes save for those audiophiles looking for new innovations in audio equipment and recording. The product had a fast die off and was on a rapid downward spiral by 1978. The company abandoned the product in 1980 and sold off all remaining systems to a supplier in Finland.

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Monday, July 19, 2010 

As many as four leaks have been detected in the Deepwater Horizon well cap in the Gulf of Mexico, according to live footage shot by one of BP’s ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles). The leaks were detected early this morning, just after 4:00 (EDT).

The HOS SUPER H ROV 1 made the discovery while performing an “integrity survey” of the well and well cap. It recorded what appears to be a thin metal pipe lining the outside of the oil cap. Four small leaks of what appear to oil bubbles were detected during this survey. The first appears just after the elbow connecting the pipe to the two green pipes. The second can be seen through the hole of the large metal ring. The third is seen just to the right of the metal ring.

It is not yet known what the pipe carries or what it connects to. It is also not yet clear if all leaks are from the pipe, or leaking from the well. BP confirmed the leaks and told Wikinews in a phone call to their Houston, Texas press office, there is a “small leak” releasing hydrates consisting of gases and oil. They are “studying the issue” and are prepared to fix the pipe if it becomes an issue. Live camera feeds show hydrocarbons building up as the oil and gas leak from the pipe.

On July 18, ROV cameras showed bubbles coming from the base of well. BP said it would test the bubbles to determine what they are and as of Sunday, COO of BP Doug Suttles says the bubbles are not methane, but further tests are being conducted. “If you can imagine, it is not an easy operation to collect those bubbles so that they can be tested to see what their make-up is.”

Yesterday an unnamed United States official told the Associated Press that there was “seepage” coming from the area at the bottom of the Deepwater well head. The official said the seepage and methane gas were discovered near the Deepwater well head, but did not specify an exact location. Admiral Thad Allen, a former US Coast Guard admiral who is overseeing the spill efforts for the US government said yesterday in a letter to BP that ROVs “detected seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head.” So far there is no word what those substances are, but BP says the bubbles detected on July 18 are not of a hydrocarbon nature.

“When seeps are detected, you are directed to marshal resources, quickly investigate, and report findings to the government in no more than four hours,” said Allen in his letter to BP. During a press conference today, Allen confirmed seepage about 3km from the well point. He could not specify whether the seep was related to the capping of the well or if it is naturally occurring.

On June 13 the Viking Poseidon ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) 1 recorded oil and methane seeping from the seafloor at around 2:48 a.m.. The ROV monitors the seep for a minute and even gets covered in a plume of oil and sand before it moved on to the next spot. Smaller eruptions were seen as the ROV traveled. After an investigation, Wikinews determined that the seepage was located just over 50 feet from the Deepwater leak point. BP has denied that any oil or methane gas is leaking from the sea floor. On July 16, Kent Wells, the senior vice president of the company, said on their official Twitter page that “4 ROVs using sonar scanning [are] looking for anomalies in seabed floor. No indications any oil or gas escaping.”

BP issued a press release earlier this morning, but did not state information regarding any leaks or seepage from the well. BP did say that the well cap “measured at approximately 6,792 pounds per square inch and continues to rise slowly.”

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill started on April 20 after an explosion on the rig. Efforts to put out the fire failed and the rig subsequently sank to the bottom of the Gulf. On April 22, an oil slick appeared on the surface of the Gulf. BP capped the leaking well on July 13 which effectively stopped oil from leaking into the Gulf. The company has been running a pressure integrity test on the 150,000 pound cap since it stopped the flow of oil. BP hopes for the well’s pressure to rise to or above 7,500 PSI. As of Saturday morning the well’s pressure was just above 6,700 PSI. BP fears anything lower than the expected PSI could mean a leak in the cap or elsewhere, such as oil or methane seeping up from the seafloor.