Heberto Castillo Martinez, besides being recognized as a politician of the Mexican left and social fighter, created one of the greatest engineering contributions ever made in the country: the tridilosa.
A civil engineer graduated from the then National School of Engineers of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), he developed a three-dimensional system of mixed iron and concrete structures that became an innovation due to its lightness and resistance: the tridilosa.
His goal was to use as little material as possible for the construction of slabs. By combining a rationed construction design with three-dimensional steel and concrete structures, he saved approximately 66% of the material used to fill the slabs. He only coated the tension zone and the top layer of the slabs with concrete, obtaining the same strength, but cheaper and lighter.
To the disbelief of his collaborators, and to demonstrate its strength, he once had a 50-ton truck placed on the tridilosa roof of the Agricultural and Livestock Bank of Toluca, which was under construction; those who witnessed the feat had to agree with him.
The structure has since become so light that it could even float, allowing it to be erected on muddy ground without piles or subway columns.
One of its most outstanding qualities is that it can save 66% concrete and up to 40% steel, due to the fact that it does not need to be filled with concrete in the tensile zone, only in the upper compression zone.
Tridilosa is used not only to make ultralight roofs and bridges, but also floating docks and even pangas, such as the 40 that have been sailing for years in Campeche. In Nicaragua, Heberto Castillo built a bridge over which trucks can pass, but which can be lifted by two men, one at each end.
The invention was used in more than 200 bridges in Mexico, in the World Trade Center in Mexico City, the Chapultepec Tower, Siglo XXI Medical Center, Plaza Cuauhtémoc, Plaza Tabasco 2000, Hotel Morelia Misión and in the Biosfera 2 building (Arizona, USA). In Mexico there are almost one million square meters built with Heberto Castillo's invention, according to data from the Colegio de Ingenieros Arquitectos del Estado de Hidalgo.