Casting roof tile with ShapeCrete - myLargescale.com > Community > Forums


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Old 12-21-2019, 01:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Casting roof tile with ShapeCrete

My Alvarado Hotel used sheets of vacuum formed plastic tile for the roof.

The Alvarado as built




The roof did not stand up well in the hot sun of New Mexico so I wanted something more durable.
Roof damage



On MyLargeScale I had seen a mention of something called ShapeCrete which can be bought on line and delivered to Home Depot. It can be molded by hand like clay or cast in a form. It looked like something that I could use to make tiles for my buildings so I ordered some. There are several tutorials on line showing how to use it in addition to the instructions on the tub it comes in.

I decided to make a couple of test pieces to see how they worked and determine if I needed to make any changes in the process. A 3 X 8 inch form box was made of cardboard and tape.


A piece of the plastic tile was inserted upside down to form the contour of the casting. (The weights and c-clamp were to keep the box from bulging)



A backing was made of corrugated plastic and painted with concrete bonding agent. This was added to give the cast part more strength.


I filled the form with Quinoa to get an estimate of the amount of cement I would need.


To make the tiles the cement powder was mixed with water to a consistency of pancake batter so that it could be poured into the mold. I made a couple of test pours to see how they worked, the first with just the cement and the second with color added and a slightly thinner profile. While the cement was still wet I pressed the piece of coated corrugated plastic into the cement.


The first pour I did not use any mold release and it was hard to de-mold.


The second one I used some cooking spray on the mold and the casting came out very easily. The first casting is 3/8 inch thick from the top of the tile to the bottom of the concrete. The second one is 5/16 and with the plastic backing, both seem plenty strong.



In the future I will use a vibrator to remove the bubbles from the cement. Now I am ready to try casting roof sections for the Alvarado. The largest section will be about 11 X 15 inches and it will take 2 pieces to form the largest roof section. My original thought for the smaller parts was to cast the sections and then to bend them at the roof peak while the cement was still soft but that didn't work very well. I will post more details as I progress with this new roof.


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Old 12-21-2019, 10:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Magnificent station Winn, and out here in Australia the sun is also not kind to vac formed plastic either so I am interested in this project as you find out how this stuff works. I like the idea it's a cast "concrete" and having the colour in the mix make the tiles look real, better than paint and should last.
Not sure if I can find the Shape Crete down here but very interested in how it comes out and how you think it might last. A few questions you can answer as you go along, is it heavy, can you make large sheets, how do you join the sheets of cast and is it brittle.
Thanks
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Amazing Research about the Roof and it will protect about the Roof and sheet will be protected and houses will be safe.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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that looks very interesting.
i hope to read more about it.
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Old Yesterday, 07:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought I posted a note yesterday but I guess I forgot to hit post! That happens to OLD GUYS like me. I will be casting some roof parts next week and will post my progress. If the weather doesn't improve it will be a while before I can start installing roof sections.
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