Selasa, 16 Maret 2010

Welsh Company Makes Recyclable Homes from Recycled Plastic

Written by Tina Casey
When you mash green jobs together with affordable housing and recycled plastic, something interesting is bound to happen, and it’s happening in Wales.  The Welsh company Affresol has launched a line of  low cost homes and modular buildings that use recycled plastic as a core structural material.  Affresol plans to market some of its product as homes that can fulfill community affordable housing needs while creating new green jobs in recycling.
Affresol’s primary innovation is Thermo Poly Rock, a material composed mainly of recycled mixed plastics, which pours and sets like concrete.  According to Affresol, Thermo Poly Rock has a number of advantages over concrete, but its main contribution could be a sustainable approach to housing in which homes are built on a semi-temporary basis with life cycle in mind.

Affresol and Recycled Plastic

According to a recent story in the Daily Mail, the plastic from about 9,000 recycled televisions or 7,200 computers is what it takes to build a three-bedroom house framed with Thermo Poly Rock.  That’s about 18 tonnes of recycled plastic (a tonne is 1,ooo kilograms and a U.S. ton is 909 kilograms).  Thermo Poly Rock is a thermoset polymer, which is a liquid plastic that sets in a permanent rigid state after processing.  Affrasol claims that the product is stronger than concrete with better flex and tensile properties.  Its recyclability is not so obvious at first glance because thermoset polymers typically cannot be melted down again and reformed into a new shape (for this reason thermosets were generally considered non-recyclable), but it’s possible that thermoset polymers can be recycled in granulated form and combined with other materials to manufacture a durable new product (something similar is going on in tire recycling).

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