India Chapter of ACI would feel proud to inform you that a Five-Member student team from the “IC-ACI Student Chapter at “Kongu Engineering College”, has conquered the “Third Prize” and “International Friendship” Award in “International Concrete Dragon Boat Competition” 2020(ICDBC), organized by Zhejiang University (ZJU), China. Around 25 teams across the globe actively participated in this event. Followed by great success in the past year, which was the debut year, this year, ICDBC 2020 was conducted virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenge to student lies in making a remote-controlled concrete boat in the Chinese theme, which will compete in a race against other teams in ZJU, china, and their respective boat controlled through IoT/RC from their place. The event is to reflect cutting-edge innovations in concrete, foster creativity in students, cultivate interdisciplinary working, and encourage research and development activities. Besides, it encapsulates the tradition of China. The event promotes professionalism, technology, creative thinking and also serves as productive entertainment for students. Zhejiang University – the University of Illinois Institute organized the event, co-sponsored by American Concrete Institute (ACI).

The “Da Mu” team consisted of five members: T. Shimar Ahamed, K. Vignesh Kumar, C. N. Vinish Nandhan and J. Rahul from the Department of Civil Engineering and Bijoy Antony from Department of Mechatronics, Kongu Engineering College, Perundurai, India. The team guided by Er. L Suresh Kumar, Assistant Engineer in Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Chennai, India and Dr. G. S. Rampradheep, Associate Professor, Kongu Engineering College.

For the boat, Maxsurf (A vessel designing software) was used to design a planning hull. In design, a primary hull of dimensions of length 80cm, breadth 15 cm, and design draft 5cm was chosen. It was centered on three assumptions; (1) The lesser the length, the greater will be the maneuverability; (2). The shorter the beam lower will be the wetted surface area, (3). The lower the design draft lower will be the requirement of motor power. Volume displacement for the hull was calculated against 4.5kg, contributed by the self-weight of the hull and live loads due to electronic components. To achieve the required volume displacement the dimensions of the boat were optimized to length, breadth, and design draft as 85cm, 24cm, and 6.5cm respectively. The characteristics of the hull, mainly speed and stability were taken care of by deep-V bottom at bow diverging to U-bottom at stern of the hull. A cutting edge at the bow further helped in ease of water.

The baseline materials for concrete mix contains OPC 53 grade; Alccofine 1203, an ultrafine Supplementary Cementitious Material (SCM) which imparts strength to concrete due to its property of ‘Wall effect’; Glazed Iso Ball (GIB) which claims to be the lightest aggregate; PCE, a water retardant superplasticizer helping the improvement of workability due to its unique property of Steric hindrance; 3M was used mainly for its the unique spherical shape and whose property offers higher filler loading, lower viscosity/improved flow and reduced shrinkage and warpage. For reinforcement, Glass fiber mesh was fused by confining between successive concrete layers.

Da Mu Boat, aesthetically finished depicting yellow dragon

Da Mu Boat performing circular race, remotely controlled via joystick

In addition to the boat, video footage of the circular race, linear track race, report presentation, and PowerPoint presentation was submitted for the competition. The competition was held on 17th October 2020 and the Da Mu team bought glory to the country by securing third prize and the International Friendship Award.

IC-ACI Board of Direction congratulated Dr. G.S.Rampradheep, Mentor of “Kongu Engineering College” & wining team of International Concrete Dragon Boat Competition 2020.