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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My dad was a concrete mason and he used to make round decorative planters out of concrete mixed with pea gravel, so I know round forms (or half round forms) in concrete are possible.

I want to make some small individual concrete quanset huts for my livestock. I raise show hogs. The reason I lean toward concrete is because pigs are very hard on everything. I want something that will always be there. I would either like to build half round forms out of plywood and fill them with regular qwik-crete or use a foam board form and a permacrete substance troweled on over top. The material has to be extremely durable as the pigs are large and heavy and will scratch against them etc. Once these quanset huts are constructed, they will be put out in the pasture and then covered over with dirt for additional insulation. Imagine a concrete culvert pipe cut in half lengthwise and then buried, with both open ends exposed and you will understand the design I have in mind.

I was hoping to avoid the qwik-crete method as I may have to move these huts before covering them with dirt to find the most advantageous location. I saw a man put a wall up once. He built a form out of foam blocks and then troweled a substance over top and claimed that the fence would be as durable as a concrete block fence.

This type of construction is what appeals to me. Remember though that the quanset huts will have the additional weight of the dirt and also the pigs will be able to walk on top of them and lay on top of them so there could be as much as 1000 1500 pounds of weight on top of them at any given time. See drawing ...



Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

Cindi M.
Triple J Farm
Wauchula, FL
 

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Discussion Starter #2
By the way, I may have to make fifty or so of these things so cost is a factor. Thanks.
 

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Cindi said:
Imagine a concrete culvert pipe cut in half lengthwise...the quanset huts will have the additional weight of the dirt and also the pigs will be able to walk on top of them and lay on top of them so there could be as much as 1000 1500 pounds of weight on top
As you probably know, concrete isn't particularly "strong" without the inclusion of some kind of reinforcement; the most common being steel rod or wire. Arch structures, like the one you want to build are inherently weaker than circular structures (like a pipe) because they lack the "self supporting" characteristics of a closed circumference. It's unlikely that the structure you described will survive a lot of handling much less the loads you describe.
If you have to build arches (rather than just burying pipes to their midpoints) then consider 1.) incorporating some lengthwise rebar rods along the arc to improve handling longevitying 2.) using a "fiber mesh" concrete mix to improve tensile strength 3.) setting the arches into concrete "footings".

FYI - 15" dia. arch weighs about 70# per linear ft; 24" dia about 145# per ft; 36" dia. about 350# per ft....you get the idea.

Provided the hogs won't eat it, corrugated high density polyethylene pipe might be something to consider. It's easy to cut and handle and probably strong enough to support the loads you describe. ADS agriculture products
 

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I'm having a hard time thinking that it would be cheaper, simpler, easier and just plain a better result to just purchase sewer pipe sections and rent a concrete cutting saw and cut them in half. I believe it is possible to find rejects at the plants that make them at a discount also. I'm just not big on reinventing the wheel if it is possible to just buy one already made that is cheaper and saves a weeks worth of work.
 

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Mike you are on the right track, I have had to do this numerous times for some of our culvert systems. It is really easy and cost effective.
 

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Cole_21 said:
Mike you are on the right track, I have had to do this numerous times for some of our culvert systems. It is really easy and cost effective.
you might also contact a local concrete pipe manufacturer and see if they sell you just the reinforcement cages you'll need. then you can cut them to fit your forms.
 

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Mike Finley said:
I'm having a hard time thinking that it would be cheaper, simpler, easier and just plain a better result to just purchase...rejects at the plants that make them at a discount
cheaper? maybe not. A new 8' piece 48" culvert pipe will probably run you in excess of $500. Simpler, easier and a better result...I think so.
 

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provided i've done the math right, you're talking about 20 yards, about 80K#, of concrete to build 250 feet ( 50 @ 5' each) of 1/2 round arch with a 48" diameter. At $5 a bag that's way cheaper (if time is free) than buying 25 8' sections of 48" pipe (about $15,000) and sawing them in half lengthwise.
 

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Cole_21 said:
I have had to do this numerous times for some of our culvert systems.
Cole- are you saying that you've frequently made your own concrete pipe for incorporation into a job?
 

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In regard to cost, I see piles of cracked and chipped sewer pipe all the time at the fabricators plants, that's where I would start. I wouldn't buy it brand new, and I wouldn't try to make my own, I would either get cheap sewer pipe or look at another method of creating these little dens all together. Needing 50 of these seems like some kind of structure almost becomes cost effective.

Pigs are supposed to be so smart, let them figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"...Pigs are supposed to be so smart, let them figure it out..."

Unfortunately that's what I've been doing. They have figured out how to destroy just about every other type of shelter known to mankind. I like the thought of the pipe 'seconds'. I may look into that. Trust me, I'd a lot rather do anything than build all these huts. What about the trowel on stuff, no one's used that?
 

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Cindi said:
What about the trowel on stuff, no one's used that?
The stuff you've seen troweled over foam board for walls is likely a product called "drivit". Drivit has no structural value and is similar to stucco. I've seen a hand full of homes built out of a hollow cored, interlocking polystyrene block product and then covered with drivit. The structural integrity of that method is derived from filling the hollow core of the blocks with concrete. The blocks' cores also contain wire mesh that serves to reinforce the ready mix.

You might look for a pool contractor that would build structures in place during the slow season (to stay busy) using gunite concrete over wire. That might pan out to be a cost effective alternative.
 

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Cindi, You may want to research ferro-cement boats. Google should be able to provide sources.
They were very popular as homebuilts in the 70's. I believe that they were built over a reusable form, used chicken wire for reinforcement and hydraulic cement as a medium. I remember seeing them in back yards all over Ft. Lauderdale. Most were quite ugly but what do pigs care? Just use the technology. One thing that made them popular was low cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Teetorbilt...do you have more info on this ferro cement?
 
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