The BBC reports: An emergency shelter which can be set up in 40 minutes as a solid concrete structure will be made in south Wales after winning worldwide interest.
Its creators were on BBC TV’s Dragon’s Den, but they refused investment from the show’s entrepreneurs because they wanted too much of their company.

Will Crawford and Peter Brewin’s design will go into production at their new plant near Pontypridd next summer.

It is made by adding water, pumping it into shape and waiting for it to dry. Their “concrete canvas” shelters have already drawn interest from aid agencies and the military.

After 12 hours, the shelter becomes completely solid, and can even withstand being shot at with handguns.

How incredibly useful! has more. I’m not sure why they chose to film their demonstration video at night though. Has a rather sinister feel to it.

Concrete Cloth (CC) is a unique proprietary material that has been developed by Concrete Canvas. It has a very wide range of applications throughout the building and civil engineering industry.

By adding water, CC hardens to become a strong, durable, waterproof and fireproof concrete surface.

CC consists of a 3-dimensional fibre matrix containing a specially formulated dry concrete mix. A PVC backing on one surface of the cloth ensures the material is completely waterproof; while hydrophilic fibres on the opposite surface aid hydration by drawing the water into the cement.

The material can be hydrated either by spraying or by being fully immersed in water. Once hydrated the material remains flexible and workable for 4 hours. It can be easily nailed, stapled through, or coated with an adhesive for easy attachment to other surfaces. It has good drape characteristics allowing complex surfaces with a double curvatures to be produced.

This could be a great step forward for disaster relief. Oftentimes, more people die from following winter, than do from the earthquake that preceeded it. Ordinary tents do little against an Afghan winter, but these tents sounds like they should be relatively cheap, and long-lasting, and a lot easier to keep warm.

I hope full scale production is not far off. For a simple sounding idea, these could do a lot of good.

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