Forming concrete structures using fabric forms
Using fabric to form concrete through tension or air-inflated structures is the subject of Robert P. Schmitz’s article in Concrete Contractor magazine. In An Introduction to Fabric-Formed Concrete for Architectural Structures – Part 1 Schmitz discusses how fabrics are used for wall systems, foundations, and — of course — the Monolithic Dome.
David South, president and founder of Monolithic is the co-inventor of the Monolithic Dome and has been constructing thin-shell domes for more than 40 years. Monolithic’s basic steps for constructing a dome are inflating an airform fixed to a foundation, applying a layer of polyurethane foam, hanging reinforcement and applying up to five layers of shotcrete. The inherent tensile strength of the PVC-coated or polyester fabric used for the airform allows it to be inflated to a sufficient strength to support all the applied construction materials until the concrete has cured to the point where the dome is self-supporting. Monolithic’s use of fabric allowed the construction of thin-shell domes to once again be done economically. See Monolithic’s website: http://www.monolithic.com/.
Read the rest of An Introduction to Fabric-Formed Concrete for Architectural Structures – Part 1 on For Construction Pros.com.