||Technology in Australia 1788-1988
Table of Contents
I Construction During The Settlement Years
II The Use Of Timber As A Structural Material
III Structural Steel
IV Concrete Technology
VI Industrialised Pre-cast Concrete Housing
VII Ports And Harbours
IX Heavy Foundations
XII Water Engineering
XIV Major Buildings
XVI Thermal Power Stations
XVII Materials Handling
XVIII Oil Industry
XIX The Snowy Mountains Scheme
XX The Sydney Opera House
XXI The Sydney Harbour Bridge
XXII Hamersley Iron
XXIII North West Shelf
Sources and References
Pioneering attempts to produce cement in this country began in 1882, following early uses of imported cement from England, but it was not until 1889-1892, when cement kilns and works were initially established in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, that Portland cement manufacture showed signs of becoming a successful venture enterprise. Today there are ten major cement companies, serving all States in Australia with Portland cements of normal, high-early strength, low-heat and sulphate-resisting classification and composition; and there are Australian-established pre-mixed concrete companies successfully operating abroad.
The Sunderland method of cement-penetration macadam road construction is pioneered by consolidating coarse-stone aggregate in two layers enclosing steel-fabric reinforcement, and filling the voids with cement sand grout and surface-grade aggregate. The system originated in Sandringham, Victoria, in the 1920s and became extensively used throughout Australia.
Rocla roller-suspension vibrospin process of manufacture of precast and prestressed reinforced concrete pipes was pioneered at Springvale, Victoria, during 1943 and used for the first time to construct the Fish River and Lithgow Water Supply pipelines, using rubber gasket joints, New South Wales, 1944-45.
Australian pioneered reinforced concrete building panels, 80-90 mm thick and up to 13 m long, are prefabricated and precast on industrialised assembly-line steel tables, prior to being transported to building-estate sites and bolted together to form miscellaneous home units for the Victorian Housing Commission, Holmesglen, Victoria, 1945.
High quality concrete masonry manufacture was established at Adelaide in 1954, using a high-speed Besser Vibrapac machine. This installation is followed by other fully or semi-automatic plants during the next decade or so throughout Australia. Industrialised versatility is exemplified by high-pressure steam autoclave curing or burner curing, and in facilities for producing colour-toned, split-ribbed blocks, split-faced bricks, and interlocking paving units.
Multi-storey building efficiency is being improved with reinforced or prestressed concrete flat-plate floor construction, giving rise to height saving and reticulation servicing advantages, e.g. Caltex House, Sydney, 1957.
Victorian 'Shalite' expanded shale lightweight-aggregate concrete is made to economic advantage in the construction of the 28-storey 'Consolidated Zinc' steel-frame building. Concreting practices are carefully controlled with the use of high-frequency vibrators, or vibrating-screed and 'jitter-bug' means of compaction, followed by surface finishing and thorough curing to ensure uniform moisture conditions in the maturing concrete, Melbourne, 1962.
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - CSIRO; Victorian Housing Commission
People in Bright Sparcs - Taylor, W. H.
© 1988 Print Edition pages 326 - 327, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher