V4 Product Design – Brick
Hey PP Community,
Now that the V4 team in Eindhoven has started focusing on more product development, I have travelled to the Precious Plastic HQ to help with the development of the ‘Brick’.
The brick offers a unique opportunity to tackle waste on the large scale sequestering it for the long term, however, before then there are a lot of unanswered questions that we need to answer.
This thread will serve as a platform for us to share with you our development and discoveries. We hope to hear from you with your ideas, experiences and suggestions throughout the development, to help make an exciting product over the coming weeks.
To kick off let us take a look at what has already been posted on the forums.I will keep adding to this with new discoveries so feel free to mention anything that we may have missed or any other resources.
FabBRICK (Brick made from recycled textiles) featuring interlocking design (lego style) – https://www.fab-brick.com/
Conceptos Plasticos, interlocking blocks with a ridge. Made from a mix of plastics. – http://conceptosplasticos.com/ Which Unicef used to build a school 40% cheaper than usual construction methods. Unicef News
ByFusion, Mixed plastics compressed block. Interlocking – https://www.byfusion.com/
Rushabh Chhada an interesting form which is similar to the above construction methods. – Various Documentation
Forum Topics: Plastic Bricks
Mixed with Cement
Expanded Polystyrene Blocks & Cement (Instruction) – youtube
Eco Inclusion – PET shredded mix http://ecoinclusion.org/
Plastic Binder with Sand
Polycare, Utilises pouring into a mould 87% Desert Sand (Extra interesting as desert sand cannot normally be used in construction) and 13% Polyester Resin. – video
Other Material Forms/Types
Forum Topics: roof tiles from plastic waste
Huge Generic Playlist – playlist
Paving Tiles – WasteAid
TetraPak Roofing and wall panelling, utilising the PP layer to bind the card/Alum layers together – video
Compressed Earth Brick Press, Low tech solution to just press things together – video
After investigating the above case studies we deducted the following:
– Brick needs to be moveable by 1 person.
– Material Cost will likely be higher per m2 than standard brick methods, but labour cost will be lower due to rapid construction.
– Sorted material has a higher value than unsorted both in terms of demand & processing cost.
– There are two ways of making them, Injection or Compression.
We then as a group evaluated the key criteria that we wanted this brick to meet. To do this, we wrote over 50 possible brick criteria and voted for the 3 most import. The 3 are as follows:
1. Cheap/Profitable/Fast Manufacturing
I wonder if you could get grants from municipalities if you could make parking curb blocks, other traffic related hardware, or landscaping borders for parks, etc. out of mixed plastic that goes to landfills.
Nice overview, I’ll see what I can find to add.
I’m gonna expreiment myself with ‘no budget’ primitive garden tiles, which may not be bricks, but are of similar interest.
Fun fact about these tiles is they only need a ‘smooth’ finish on the top side, so they can be gravity pressed. Bottom is in the soil, so who cares 😉
would be great to know the best possible outcome of this post, also the target audience. even if you’d find a few proven ideas and enumerate them here; it’s a complete different story to convince fitted shops and capable builders (both are really rare) here to get this further. sorry for being a brick on this but evtl. you could let us know where is this going ? in a catalog on the v4 website, or does it stay in the forum, etc… ? I think adding scope and context would enable others to actually add their few cents. also interesting to know the length, timeline and staging of this project as well allocated resources, etc…
thanks in advance.
Brick 1 Development – Machine Choice
After 3D printing miniature versions of all the methods highlighted in the case studies, we decided the easiest method to pursue was a brick that utilised the extruder. This is because compression is relatively slow and slow = high cost.
Injection was also an option but it is limited to about 100cm every 6-8min. (16g/min) when the V3.5 extruder has an output of about (200g/min). However, this doesn’t mean we have completely cast aside compression in the process. Perhaps after the item has been extruded into a mould it then would be compressed.
Conceptos Plasticos Brick
Conceptos plastics use large 20mm thick moulds, to inject large interlocking bricks. Due to their shape, they are easily extruded and pushed out of the mould using a hydraulic press. They utilise a mix of plastics to achieve the performance they desire and reduce shrinkage (more about this later).
We created a similar (but simpler mould) using a box section beam cut in half and 2 square section pieces with a plate at either end. To prevent the mould from getting stuck due to shrinkage this was a 4 part mould.
It produced a large durable brick, but at 12min to extrude one …the volume of plastic was the issue here to create a profitable option. So we moved onto V2….
eventually it helps work out a table; with the variant brick variants you’ve just posted; and there add some reality check; bricks from plastic often lack research, peer reviewed articles, etc… in another column machine builders could leave estimates for machinery, component sourcing anything to workout a receipt and keep the risks involved down for the often enthusiastic but also more fragile builders. Currently PP has not an official system to deal with proposals or plain research on a global level. Worst, the past has shown also that the documents & plans are rather locked away, no matter the urgency to change them, etc … So yes; instead of harvesting just feedback & ideas here in the forum eventually you can share what you’ve got so far 🙂 There aren’t exactly many here how can turn the outcome into reality.
You are doing a great job in Eindhoven.
In the monthly news 32 you explain about adding saw dust into the mix.
I did some first experiments with adding HDPE to river sand. A mix of sand and HDPE could work really good to create a brick and could seriously cut down the amount of plastic used in the brick.
The big question for me is :
When creating a end product from recycled plastic which is mixed, the product can no longer be recycled in the future the same way. What are your thoughts about that?
I think ‘brick’ belongs to the category raw stock which is a good starting point; yep. Machine wise I know only of 3 ways: manual compression mould; then hydraulic press (semi-automatic) : material bill in the 2000-5000. and extrusion (full – automatic), running at around 4-6 Kw, approximately 5 meters the hour at best. raw stock extrusions from virgin plastic sell at extreme cheap prices and hardly sell at all; at least here in Catalonia which is specialized in chemistry and plastic. i think the grid-beam discussion offered some hints to turn this into a product but it didn’t progress much further.
Thanks a lot for doing all these hands-on research for us all.
I have been looking into this possibility for quite a while now as well. Many people are worried about living in a plastic house where it can degrade because of UV exposure. There are some suggesting using stucco is able to resolve that issue. What about adding additives to the plastic bricks? I’m not really familiar with this whole chemistry, can someone share their viewpoints?
Some of the companies that were listed here claim that their bricks can be more heat-resistant and sound-resistant, even ‘disaster-proof’. How so?
Brick version two aimed to address the extrusion time = high costs. To do this we require a design that reduced the plastic volume of the brick but increases the surface of the brick. To do this we made the block hollow.
As a result, we’ve got a sturdy brick. However, we realised we could make the brick bigger using almost the same amount of plastic if we reduce the thickness of brick’s walls. This resulted in V2.1 Which actually took only 5 seconds more to make on the extruder despite being 500g heavier. This is to do with the better nozzle location on the mould.
A modified nozzle using a slot mechanism also helped us speed up the mould disassemble – brick removal – mould reassemble process.
Thanks @antoniocicotti This is actually quite similar to the direction we are now going in! Awesome design and really good project! Thanks for sharing!
Hi I’m from Argentina… Here I find some projects about plastic bricks. I hope this help you.
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