of lightweight aggregate ideally suited to making high-strength, durable, and low-permeability concrete wastimely, as it was met with urgency in the marine shippingindustry brought about by the submarine warfare of WorldWar I. As a construction material for boats, portlandcement concrete probably dates from 1848, when Jean-Louis Lambot built a rowboat for use in a pond on hisestate in Miraval, France.
With a hull thickness of 30 to40 mm (1.2 to 1.5 in.), a length of 3.6 m (11.8 ft), and abeam of 1.35 m (4.4 ft), the boat was a success. Other thana hole in the bottom that caused it to sink, it was found ingood condition some 100 years later when it was excavatedfrom the mud and exhibited at a concrete conference inParis. The first ocean-going concrete ship was constructedin 1917. With a displacement of 400 tonnes (440 tons) anda length of 26 m (85 ft), the Norwegian ship
showed marine designers the possibilities and limitationsof using normalweight concrete as a material.
Although vesicular volcanic aggregates had been triedand found capable of reducing the dead weight of ships tomanageable levels, the intrinsic variability of the depositsof aggregate were such that the required high strengthcould not be obtained on a consistent basis. Hayde was apatriotic individual, and with the recognition that hissoon-to-be-patented product could help in the war effort,he offered it free of charge to the government for theduration of the war, provided that the Haydite, the namegiven to his lightweight aggregate product, was manufacturedby the government and not an independent contractor.
His offer was made in a letter dated February 18, 1918,to the Director of the Department of Concrete ShipConstruction, U.S. Emergency Fleet Corporation, Washing-ton, DC. The response was provided on March 6, in a lettersigned by R.G.J. Wig as Chief Engineer and initialed byC.W.B. (Carl W. Boynton). The letter expressed interest inthe “burnt clay as a concrete aggregate in concrete withboat construction and anticipated that the material can bedeveloped to a point where it will give us the requiredstrength, and at the same time reduce the weight of theconcrete materially.” Subsequent testing verified thatHaydite could be used to produce 28 MPa (4000 psi)concrete with a density of 1697 kg/m
).With Hayde’s experience making a high-quality light-weight aggregate using a rotary kiln, it was surprisingthat the first ship built by the Department of EmergencyShip Construction was constructed using aggregate fromthe much less efficient down-draft beehive kilns inBirmingham, AL. Sufficient material was produced tosupply concrete for the 272 tonnes (300 ton)
,launched in December 1918. The second concrete shipwas the
, with a length of 132 m (434 ft), a beam of13 m (43 ft), and a full-cargo draft of 8 m (26 ft). The ship’shull was 127 mm (5 in.) thick on the bottom and 100 mm(4 in.) thick on the sides. Cover over the reinforcementwas only about 16 mm (5/8 in.). The aggregates used toconstruct the
were made by the Atlas CementCompany in Hannibal, MO, using the rotary kiln method. Atotal of 6670 tonnes (7350 tons) of expanded aggregateswere shipped to the Fred T. Ley Company, the operator ofthe government shipyard in Mobile, AL.The good performance of rotary-kiln-produced light-weight aggregate when used for concrete ship constructionwas not missed by government employee Carl Boynton,who proceeded to arrange for a patent to cover what wasessentially covered in Hayde’s patent. This is especiallysurprising in that Boynton had expressed to Appo, one ofHayde’s associates in the Haydite company, that “theprocess…was entirely outside his knowledge of burningmaterials and burning processes.”On May 7, 1928, at the Court of Appeals of the District ofColumbia, a decision was rendered that the court was“convinced that Boynton derived his knowledge of theinvention from Hayde, and that Hayde is entitled to theaward of priority.” A key piece of evidence in the case wasthe letter Hayde had written to his nephew George. Apetition for a rehearing was denied on June 1, 1928.Unfortunately, that victory came some 16 days after Haydedied when traveling by rail from Montreal to Kansas City.
ProduCIng a LEgaCy
Hayde’s research, which began about 1897, had estab-lished by 1917 the basic parameters for aggregate productionthat led to our modern lightweight concrete industry. Thetemperature regime and degree of expansion of theaggregates has remained unchanged over the years. It is agreat benefit to modern designers that they can look backwith confidence at a track record of nine decades of goodperformance with this essentially unchanged product,invented and brought into commercial production by
lays a wreck in pieces at Crystal Beachon the southern tip of Cape May, NJ. One of theauthors visited the wreck about 1980 and foundthe concrete of very poor quality. The
wasscuttled decades ago off the coast of Galveston, TX.One of the authors visited the
in 1985 andobserved that the concrete was generally in excellentcondition, and the imprint of the form boards couldstill be clearly seen—even at the water line. As is thecase of the concrete ships from World War II, themain deck shows distress mainly due to improperconcreting practice. Nevertheless, the concrete wasin generally good condition and shows what can beexpected of concrete made with rotary-kiln-producedlightweight aggregate.