Layth Mahdi
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Layth Mahdi - Thermoplastic Concrete

Photos by Wes Mcgee, Tsz Yan Ng, and Layth Mahdi

Photos by Wes Mcgee, Tsz Yan Ng, and Layth Mahdi

Thermoplastic Concrete

Research Team:
Wes McGee + Tsz Yan Ng

Fabrication Team:
Layth Mahdi
Andrew Bradford
others

Thermoplastic Concrete Casting explores formwork making and concrete casting with thermoplastic textile. Casting in concrete typically requires extensive formwork that takes time, material, and a tremendous amount of labor to produce. This novel way of creating formwork for casting eliminates heavy rigid molds and scaffoldings for support. Instead, using sartorial techniques borrowed from tailoring and patterning in clothing production, pliable non-woven thermoplastic textile is cut and felted together (a process of needle punching), and then heat-stiffened to rigid form, ready for glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) casting. The project explores the relationship between form, material behavior, and performance of both non-woven thermoplastics as formwork with complex geometries and concrete casting to create thin-shell, materially efficient structures.