Marine Construction Magazine | October 3, 2019
FORM-A-TUBE is the latest product developed by Prof. Mo Ehsani, a pioneer in the field of structural repair. The flat PVC strips are 6.28-inch wide and come in various lengths. One face of the strip is smooth while the other face includes protruding T-shaped profiles. The edges of the strips have male and female connecting elements that can snap together like a Ziplock bag.
Form-A-Tube’s unique design allows the formation of a cylinder of any diameter. The addition of every strip increases the diameter of the tube by 2 inches; e.g. 6 strips make a 12-inch tube, 7 strips make a 14-inch tube and so on. While the strips can be ordered in any length, short pieces can be joined together to create tubes of virtually any length.
“One of my other inventions, PileMedic®, is the only repair system tested by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and approved for the military’s use to repair piles globally,” said Ehsani. “I developed Form-A-Tube as a durable low-cost solution so simple that homeowners could repair their own docks,” Ehsani explains.
For repair of piles, the strips are snapped together and wrapped around the pile to create a shell. Temporary ratchet straps are used along the height of the shell before the annular space is filled with concrete or grout. The protruding T profiles lock into the concrete, while the smooth surface provides an aesthetic exterior finish. The assembly of the strips requires no epoxy or hardware. If necessary, the strips can be taken apart and reassembled, making this an ideal solution for handymen and do-it-yourselfers.
The advantages of Form-A-Tube include:
■ No bulky shipping and storage
■ Can make tubes of any diameter onsite
■ Can make tubes of any length onsite
■ No epoxy or chemicals needed for assembly
■ No bolts used in assembly
■ Simple to install for do-it-yourselfers
■ UV-resistant PVC
■ Aesthetic smooth exterior finish
■ Reusable as a formwork for casting concrete columns and pedestals
Another versatile feature of the Form-A-Tube is that it can be assembled with the smooth face inside. In that case, the tube can be used as a formwork for casting new concrete columns and pedestals or repairing damaged columns in buildings and bridges. Once the concrete is cured, the strips can be removed and saved for future use to build columns of same or different sizes.
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