The U.S. Marines recently tested a 3D printer capable of constructing entire buildings with quick-drying concrete. In just 36 hours, ICON's Vulcan 3D printer whipped up a concrete structure that can hold a HIMARS truck-mounted multiple rocket launcher system.
The Vulcan is a 3,800-pound beast that's designed to spray layers of proprietary Lavacrete, which is a fast-curing polymer concrete that can be ready for use as soon as 12 to 24 hours after printing. Lavacrete has a strength rating of 6,000 pounds per square inch (psi).
Concrete with a psi rating of 5,000 or above is used when “high impact resistances, very low wear rates, or extreme conditions are expected.” Plus, 6,000-psi concrete blocks radiation, leading to its use in the construction of nuclear power plants.
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