There are trucks and then there are TRUCKS! The above pictured ‘Zipper’ Truck clearly treads the path of ingeniousness with its heavily customized feature that allows free-standing tunnels to be built within just 24 hours. But how does it achieve it? Well the solution lies on the rear-side of the vehicle which is mounted with a roller-covered arch (one can discern it from the above image). This arch-shaped installation (designed by Lock Block Ltd.) has the capacity to support special concrete blocks that are basically arranged without the need for any adhesive or mortar material.
These special concrete blocks in question are endowed with interlocking pegs. So as they are arranged atop the arched installation (which acts as a support frame), the blocks literally snap together with the forward movement of the truck. This snapping action is aided by the unique shape of the arched installation which demonstrates a tapering metallic form at its end, thus creating a scope similar to how a zipper works. So simply put, the concrete blocks ‘lock’ into their respective places with the combined effort of the angle and the vehicle’s forward motion.
Now when translated to a practical scenario, this ambit of fast tunnel construction can have significantly positive effect on standard industry processes. For example, in a conventional scenario, infrastructural facilities like underpasses, tunnels, shelters and even culverts are time-incentive projects, mostly due to the curing procedure that generally takes place over 28 days. But in this case, the curing scope can be eschewed in favor of the interlocking process. And lastly, the advantage is further complemented by the seismic resistant design of the roller-covered arch, thus alluding to the flexible side of affairs in heavy-duty construction projects.
Via: ZME Science