Engineered Sand Explains The Science Behind The Sturdy Concrete Structures
A Texas-based YouTuber demonstrates on his channel, Practical Engineering, why concrete roadways, walls, and buildings are extremely stable.
Professional Civil Engineer Grady Hillhouse has engineered a sand that can handle hefty weight. His technique is reinforcement using some everyday materials.
In his demonstration video, he forms an 8-inch tightly packed sand cube with scraps of t-shirt in between layers to reinforce the structure. But since the fabric is stretchable, the sand is unstable and deforms quickly when he steps on it.
Hillhouse then creates another one but this time, he uses thin window screens in between layers to strengthen the hard compressed sand. He lays around 70 pounds of cinder blocks and a barbell on it and it does not budge. When he puts his weight on it, the results are the same. He tries to put the weight of his car and incredibly, the sand stays firm.
The demonstration shows that you can create an incredibly strong composite material with soil just by adding reinforcing elements. A wall created in this way is called mechanically stabilized earth or reinforced soil according to Hillhouse.