Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Bowling Ball Competition


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

On Thursday, Oct. 7, the American Concrete Institute had their third biweekly meeting and got together to talk about an interesting competition that will be coming up on March 27, 2022. This competition is held every two years. The name of the competition is the Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Bowling Ball Competition. 

The club needs to make a bowling ball that is lightweight, still structurally sound and strong enough to function like a bowling ball. To be more specific, the ball needs to be eight inches in diameter and the team needs to find a way to make a 24-pound ball into 12 pounds. 

The team needs to tweak and tune the mixture that they started with to reach their goals. The team has about six months to fine tune the mixture. 

The purpose of this competition is to demonstrate the abilities of fiber-reinforced concrete and to show the creativity of the students. By the time the competition comes around, the team needs to have made two balls to present. 

One will be used as a bowling ball, going down a ramp and knocking over pins. The second is taken and analyzed by the judges and scored. Both scores are taken, combined and the team is given a ranking. The American Concrete Institute Club will be competing against sixty other teams internationally.

When making the concrete, it’s a pretty straightforward process. First, the team measures the materials and then slowly combines it until the consistency looks about right. This time around, the club was able to make a single ball and a cylinder. The ball will be used as a starting point to start changing up the mixture, but the cylinder will be used to test the strength and durability. 

This is a small club that is open to anyone and everyone who is wanting to join. If there is interest in joining the club, or coming around to see what is going on, the next meeting is going to be on Oct. 21 at 6:00 p.m. in room 049 in Ottensman Hall. 

The club members were all nice, approachable and very friendly. To join or to know more about the club, readers can email the advisor, Danny Xiao, at [email protected]