Getting the right foam density is critical to aircrete making success.
Getting reliable weight measurements is critical to getting the right foam density.
I strongly recommend using at least two scales and two samples every time.
Without a second sample, how can I be confident that either sample is accurate? Who knows how much air was trapped in the middle of the sample? It's amazing how much variation can be seen between two samples taken one right after the other. If the difference is extreme, a fresh set of samples becomes the obvious next step. If the difference is reasonable, I use the average.
Without a second scale, how can I be confident that either scale is functioning correctly?* This is particularly true for cheap digital scales. The other day I had a huge discrepancy between my two scales. I pulled out a third scale to settle the dispute. One of the scales must have gotten dropped or something, so I threw it away because it was suddenly off by 20%.
When the difference between the two scales is reasonable, I use the average.
By measuring two samples on two scales I get four data points to average out.
That's my two cents.
Does anyone else have advice for how to get consistently precise and accurate foam weight measurements?
*One method of confirming scale accuracy is by using calibration weights (objects of known weight). This is always a good idea, especially when used in conjunction with multiple scales.
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@HandyDanIn regards to using air Crete for a floor, what reinforcing would you use and how thick would you make it. My current application would be a base for patio pavers but I’m also interested in using it for the floor elsewhere.
would you build a ferrocement home with dome roof and earth sheltering in FL? As long as heat/moisture producing elements are already outside the enclosed space and indoor rooms have windows for ventilation and A/C for the hottest summer months? Would you still use a thick vapor barrier between the ferrocement roof/walls and the dirt sheltering it, or would the waterproofing in the ferrocement be enough as is? Thanks so much in advance! Do you know someone who could do the engineering/plans for our home?
@Zander Thank you for your help. I'll explore other possibilities that can be done with speeding up the creation of domes. I understand it sounds like I'm in a rush. I am thinking a little more of an industrial process that can get as many people in as many high quality houses as possible. It's an idea that I am floating. Also, thank you for the welcoming.
@KnowItAllTeen Not fractals. But, yes, arches can readily branch and intersect with other arches at any angle, especially if the arches are of the same shape and size. Architecturally and structurally, domes do seems to be the perfect hub, node, or joint between arches.
@knowitallteen Nevertheless, they're a company. Like all companies, they use the profit to expand their cause or business. So, when that cause is providing people skills and tools to build their own, you have something great that is rolling.
@zander would it be better to make one giant done or a few smaller ones
Only you can answer that question. There are pros and cons to both approaches. This question applies to dome homes similarly to how it would apply to any other building method.
Smaller structures are generally easier to build. This is particularly true with domes because they tend to get taller as they get wider. The more work that must be done from a ladder or scaffold the more risk of injury exists. Small structures are the best way to learn any building method. Perhaps the best approach to learning any building style is to first build a cat house, then a dog house, then a cabin, then a small home. Many people can't afford such luxuries of time and jump right into it. That works too.
Larger domes generally cost less per cubic foot, assuming the same wall thickness. This includes the cost of materials as well as labor.
Several smaller structures provide more autonomy and privacy for members of the household. Having multiple smaller specialized structures can better integrate with the terrain and encourage a more outdoor lifestyle. That being said, domes can be quite easily conjoined directly or via arched passages to create a seamless domeplex where each dome may be compared to a "room" in a modern "house".
I am sure there are many more factors that could be considered on this topic.
@zander I have an idea. When I decide to build my house, I will install a ceiling fan to make up for the discomfort and promote the cooling. A dome is like a funnel that is upside down. It can help draw in warmer air to the top and keep the cold air towards the bottom.
I have been watching the La Palma situation. I was thinking how is this going to turn around for good? I am wondering if all that ash could be used for good since so many plants were destroyed. I assume not all ash is the same so it would vary per volcano but thoughts on maybe using it to help rebuild right?
@obo-martin Regarding structural integrity, a 10-12 inch round hole should not be a significant structural weakness, assuming your wall thickness is at least 3.5 inches. Circular penetrations have the least structural impact. Read this post describing the impact of earthquakes on raw cut circular openings for windows that were about 4 feet diameter cut into 3.5" thick dome walls.
@niartallagh hi there I’m also building a sauna . In fact it’s already built . A lovely dome and I’m trying to figure out the best way do the finishing coats as well with moister in mind . Did you find any solutions . I been down so many rabbit holes with this I’m not even sure what to recommend or use . But I will share when I figure it out . If anybody has advice I’d love to hear