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My Take on Hypertufa

by Robert Charles Murray
(Fernley, Nevada)

A snippet from my white paper: “My Take On Hypertufa”

Hypertufa is a man-made, cement based, replacement for, yup here it comes, tufa. Kinda like saying mud is a replacement for dirty water – well maybe not exactly.

Anyway, it seems hypertufa has another systemic ingredient, otherwise it cannot be referred to as hypertufa; peat moss. A point of simplification here: to be an authentic imitation of authentic tufa, hypertufa must contain peat moss.

Let’s look at some of the qualities of the “real” tufa; it’s porous, it has embedded vegetation (in various stages of decomposition), it is light weight, and it can absorbs it’s own weight in water.

Hypertufa, the peat moss variety, is a cement-based creation resembling rock that gets all the attributes of “real” tufa from the peat moss not the cement. It is the peat moss in hypertufa that absorbs water, supplies nutrients (decaying vegetation), and reduces the overall weight. But the same attributes could be credited to almost any decaying organic compost or growing medium. So why is peat moss so vital to hypertufa?

The simple answer: it isn’t.

Research indicates that most “mud-slingers” use peat because “they” were told it MUST contain peat moss or it isn’t an authentic imitation of authentic tufa – I think I mentioned that before. The cement’s only value is to provide a shape to suspend the peat moss.

You can find more interesting insights from Robert on the Hypertufa Fan Club on Facebook. Make a comment here if you prefer not to join in the conversation there...

Robert has more on Sudotufa here.

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Nov 23, 2011
more snippets
by: Robert

Another snippet: So what exactly does all this rambling prove?

Well for one thing “hyper” as a prefix usually implies excess or exaggeration (hyperbole). Hypertufa must, by description, mean an exaggerated tufa.

It would seem a better terminology would be fauxtufa (false tufa), maybe mocktufa, or lastly pseudotufa (my favorite).

So I think I’ll refer to my creations as Robert’s Sudotufa that should give people like me a research topic.

And give me one more word to copyright.

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