India-based Rhino Machines has developed a sustainable construction brick made entirely from foundry dust and plastic waste. Its ‘silica plastic blocks’ or SPBs can help meet the growing global need for urban using recycled materials.
When Rhino Machines began its SPB project, its goal was to help reduce dust waste and pollution by producing zero waste from the sand reclamation plant in its foundry. It initially experimented by bonding foundry dust to cement bricks and clay bricks, but these required resources such as cement, soil and water to produce the bricks.
As designboom reports, Rhino Machines then teamed up with R+D Labs, the research wing of architectural firm R+D Studio, to experiment with bonding the foundry dust with plastic waste. They discovered that the use of plastic as a bonding agent eliminates the need for water during the mixing and curing stages.
SPBs are environmentally friendly in two ways. First, the blocks are made entirely from waste materials: 80% foundry dust and 20% plastic waste. Second, as SPBs don’t require any water or cement to produce, they use less natural resources while at the same time reduce inorganic waste, reports Inhabitat. This also makes them affordable to produce, and they are comparable in price to commonly available red clay brick or concrete masonry.
What’s more SPBs have 2.5 times the strength of normal red clay bricks, making them strong enough for houses and pavements.
Rhino Machines is now preparing to come up with a solution so that foundries across Indian can develop and distribute SPBs.
Image credit: Fernando Reyes via Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/nO7blbbAmMs)