Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Concrete Eggs

PostedMarch 25, 2005

Download File (mp3)

For aid workers and soldiers, tents sometimes just don't offer enough protection.  So a pair of British engineers has made small prototypes of on-the-spot blow-up shelters made of concrete.  Peter Brewin says they were inspired by nature's engineering of eggs.  Smoothly curved surfaces give an egg's thin shell surprising strength.  The engineers are using the same principle to shape fabric, that they fill with cement power and line with an inflatable inner surface.  Brewin says the rest is simple:  Just add water, blow it up, let it dry, and voila! instant building.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.