Caunton Engineering has constructed a blast box for warhead testing at The University of Illinois using the Steel Bricks™ modular system, which it developed in the UK with the Steel Construction Institute under license from Modular Walling Systems.
This contract lays the foundations for further projects in the UK as the system is a viable alternative to reinforced concrete for cores, tunnels and the nuclear sector. Caunton Engineering Exec Chairman Simon Bingham states “This steel and concrete walling system could radically alter the way nuclear power stations are built in the UK as it offers a less labour-intensive solution, coupled with significant cost and time reductions associated with offsite manufacture.”
Steel Bricks are a ground-breaking product developed in 2014 and backed by the UK Government with nearly £1.2M in funding from Innovate UK.
Installed at the University of Illinois’ campus at Urbana-Champaign, the revolutionary ultra-strong three-metre cubed chamber is now being used for explosives testing as part of a research programme on advanced warhead technologies for the US Department of Defence.
Using the Steel Bricks modular system, which comprises two steel face plates that are connected internally to create a sandwich panel, the blast box was manufactured offsite by Caunton Engineering. Once delivered and installed in its final position, it was then filled with 72 tonnes of self-consolidating concrete in one continuous pour.