Inspiration from God’s Creations
Welcome to another stage of the Composite Mix Building Materials Project, in which we are experimenting using natural and/or recycled products, such as sawdust from timber mill processing, with an intention to create new strong and durable building materials.
This post will describe experiments that the Gods Way Ltd Composite Mix Materials project leader, Cornelius, was inspired to create by observations he made in nature. These occurrences in nature are in harmony with properties or principals that the team would like to uphold or harness in their new building material.
It is undisputed that God is the Master creator, creating things such as planets, solar systems, universes, plants, animals and of course the pinnacle of God’s creation, the human soul.
It could be agreed that those creations are a little more advanced than our Composite Mix project.
As humans, being mini-creators, it would make sense to learn some tips from the Master. This can be done directly (by developing a personal relationship with God, and asking for God the answer to any question) which is the fast way, or indirectly (by observing what God has created and try to discover the laws and principals behind the creation) which is the slower way.
So, while developing a relationship with God, which is a progressive process, we can also learn by observing things that God has already created in nature, discover how they work, and replicate the principals involved in the making of our own creations.
The question could be asked; “Why would we want create things like the way God has done them?”
Because every individual thing that God has created benefits all other creation; is extremely intelligent, serves multiple functions simultaneously thus making the most economical use of time, energy and resources.
For example, the creation of water:
- Gives life to all living things through hydration
- Can be used to cool things down
- Washes us clean
- Supports life (creatures can live in it)
- Always finds its own horizontal level
- Falls from the sky so you don’t have to go fetch it from a river
- Has the ability to change form between liquid, gas and a solid
- Has the capacity to carry nutrients
- Extinguishes fires
- Has thermal mass properties
- Provides humans with enjoyment (surfing, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, ice-skating etc.)
Essentially in this Universe we live in a School of God. We are constantly surrounded by creations that offer lessons for learning; it’s like an interactive living playground.
Termite Soil Experiment
The termite mound was an observation found in the “playground”; discovering that a creature that God created can turn soil and organic matter into a rock-like substance.
This is what the team are attempting to do in the composite mix materials experiments; making earth based materials (sand) stick together with organic materials (sawdust) to become rock-like.
In the rural region of Southern Queensland, Australia, local to God’s Way Ltd’s current operations, there are many termite mounds to be observed. The termite mounds are the termites’ house above ground level. In this region the mounds can reach up to 1 metre high and can have a base diameter of 2 metres. Termite mounds vary in shape and size depending on geographical and climatic conditions. For example, in Northern tropical areas of Australia, these mounds can extend beyond 6 metres in height.
The mounds are made by the termites who live solely underground in dark conditions. The termites make these mounds by combining soil, which they harvest from deeper in the ground, and organic matter, mainly the dead matter like leaf litter which sits on the ground surface in the surrounding areas. The method used for binding the soil together (to make it stick) is believed involve use of the termite’s saliva and excreta. (Source: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/the-animal-house-the-incredible-termite-mound/7222/)
Upon observations of the termite mounds, the structure once made is very hard; much harder than the surrounding ground, and is resistive to eroding from rainfall.
While there are so many remarkable qualities that the termites possess (as you’d expect from anything that God has created), the interesting implication for the composite mix experiments was wondering what the chemical make-up of the termite’s binding method was that enables them to stick surrounding soil together and make it so hard.
If this binding medium could be naturally replicated in some way, it could become a beneficial method to be able to bind soil together without the use of cement based products.
The next step was to discover some more information about the exact catalyst or process that enables termites to stick soil and organic matter they consume together and for it to become a hard setting structure as a result.
Upon researching scientific papers on the internet, contacting the University of South Queensland Faculty of Science, Health & Engineering, and also talks with a Soil Scientist and his peers, no insight was found (so far) into how this occurs and there was no knowledge of anyone having reverse engineered the soil to find out the chemical make-up of the binding qualities that the termites could produce.
From the personal review of scientific papers on the subject, the consensus appears to be that the termites saliva, excreta, or a combination of the two, was the product that creates the binding.
Just as a guess, human saliva and excrement would probably not have the same successful result.
Unfortunately, the chemical composition of the binder that the termites make could not be discovered at this stage, however curiosity still lingered about the termite mound soil and how strong it was as a comparison to cement based products.
Some sample material was taken from a termite mound that had been inactive for a couple of years.
It was then time to have a play. Pre-testing was done on the samples (making small mud-pies) to see what they would they would be like simply crushed down and water added. The result was that they had slightly less strength than the original material.
It was still worthwhile making some test samples using ‘soil’ from an abandoned termite mound. Hydrated lime was added to the mix to aid in extra binding properties.
If the testing information interests you click here: 20180522 Test Batch 015
Proper strength based comparison between the test using termite mound and hydrated lime, and a cement based product, will only be possible when all the experimental test samples go for professional testing, which will be soon.
It was thought that perhaps next time, soil from an active mound could be used to see if there is any difference in strength compared to a vacated mound. Maybe the life (or the lack of it) existing in the termite mound, could have an impact on the strength of the soil of the mound. Similar to humans; when there is life in a house the house is usually strong because it is maintained. When there is no life in the house, it begins to degrade – as with all things when the life has vacated. God’s Laws work to break down dead matter that has served its original purpose.
Further Lessons Offered by Termites
Even without knowledge so far of what the substance is that the termites use to convert and bind plain soil and organic matter into a hard substance, other interesting discoveries were made about the implanted intelligence that God put into termites. Some of these discoveries can have further benefits in building design and construction.
A study found in this scientific research paper shows how termites can sense the load of structures that they are going to break down such as a building or a tree and choose how to approach that. They replace the timber eaten with their clay that they make (same as the clay used to create their mounds). The clay when tested had higher proportional structural load properties than the timber that it replaced.
Also the termites were very economical in using less energy to make the replacement clay compared to the significantly higher energy value of the food that they ate. Termites are both very intelligent structural engineers and economists (obviously the intelligence implanted by God into the creation of the termite).
Their mound structure is designed very intricately of tubes and chambers that move air through the mound. This keeps it at a constant 23 degrees all year round (the optimum comfort level for human habitation too). They have the ultimate heating and cooling system that could be replicated, and it has been to some degree in many past and current building designs; just not as effectively as a building with tubes and chamber could though. (Source: http://theconversation.com/lets-mimic-termite-nests-to-keep-human-buildings-cool-115534)
The termite’s primary role is to break down dead cellulose matter such as wood. Without their activities, nutrient rich decomposed matter would not be available for possibly many decades. Termites also move nutrients and minerals that are usually locked-up in the sub-soil up to the surface where these elements have commonly become deficient. This aids in the growth of new plants who can benefit from those nutrients and minerals as they are getting established (before they can reach deeper into the soil with their roots).
When the work in an area of land is complete by the termites, they leave the nest/mound and move on to another area that needs work done. Interestingly, when they leave their nest/mound/house, the mound begins to breakdown. This provides a slow release of nutrients that feed the area that they have just done all the work in, thus giving back to the area.
This is God’s Design and Gods Way. The challenge for humans is to design and build in a way that when our creations are no longer required, what is left behind offers benefits to all around it and promotes growth and sustainability. This is what our endeavour is with the God’s Way Ltd Construction Team. It will take time, starting with man’s way and progressing to God’s Way.
Dunarobba Fossil Forest Experiment
Dunarobba Fossil Forest is in the Umbria Region of Italy, which is located virtually in the geographical centre of that country. The significance of this forest isn’t towering shady trees, it’s dinosaur bones or ancient shells, but that the trees there are over 2.5 million years old. These trees are primarily located underground, yet still stand upright, and still have all the properties of wood as they had 2.5 million years ago!
The exact way that these trees have preserved for so long is of interest to the Composite Mix Materials Project – to see if the principals behind the method of natural preservation can be incorporated into the project’s sample making, especially since a wood material (sawdust) is one of the ingredients being used.
The information described in this section about the Dunarobba Fossil Forest was taken from sources linked under the heading ‘How is the Wood Preserved?’, and from the National Geographic September 1994 Edition, ‘Ancient Forest Rises From Italian Clay’ (membership required).