Replast blocks, now called ByBlocks, are made from recycled plastics that are heated and compressed using the Blocker, a ByFusion machine into masonry units that are close to the size of standard concrete block. The machine and blocks are still in a proof-of-concept phase.
Replast blocks (ByBlocks) are made by recycling all types of plastics, with no need of separating or washing them beforehand. The Blocker, a ByFusion machine, shreds the plastic and feeds it into a compactor with super heated water. This turns the plastic into masonry units that are close to the size of standard concrete block. The machine and blocks are still in a proof-of-concept phase.
Goal 11: Aims to transform waste into a building component that can be used to construct affordable infrastructure and buildings.
Those looking to build homes or landscape constructions. This system is useful for projects located next to oceans or other areas with large quantities of plastic refuse.
ByFusion has developed a machine that produces the RePlast blocks from plastic waste. The machine and the blocks are still in a proof of concept phase. The blocks can be used in infrastructure work or as wall fill.
The ByFusion machine is self contained and can fit into one shipping container so it can be brought where the plastic is located. The manufacturer also intends to sell the blocks separately, though they are not yet available for purchase.
There is one project being done in Hawaii to date.
RePlast blocks are created through the following process:
- Plastic trash enters machine
- Plastic is shredded into small pieces
- The pieces move through a water boiler and compacter that fuses the plastics into RePlast building bricks (the process is non-toxic and no adhesives are used)
- The machine also includes a 600 gallon tank that recycles the waste water for 10-16 weeks
The construction of a RePlast wall includes:
- RePlast blocks
- rebar steel rods (two through each block module)
- steel plate for top of wall
- tape for top of wall
- chicken wire to cover surface of wall
- scratch layer
- stucco layer as final finish
- Poluethylene Terephthalate
- High Density Polyethylene
- Low Density Polyethylene
- Polystyrene (can’t be used individually)
- Number of Containers: 1 x 40ft High Cube
- Processing Capacity (per day): 3,200 – 4,500kg or 3.5 – 5.0 tons
- Output per shift: ~500 blocks per day
- Number of operators required: 2
- Amount of fuel required per hour (diesel): 11 -19 liters (3 – 5 gallons)
- Space required: 33m2 (40yards2
- Types of plastic processed: 1-7
- Water supply: 1.3cm – 1.9cm (½” – ¾”)
- Electrically supply (optional configuration): Self-powered generator or local power grid (3-phase plug/US 240-watt outlet)
The machine requires minimal staff and training to operate. ByFusion claims that an initial procedural training session is sufficient for the operation of the machine. They also recommend a foreman be on the site who is familiar with the operation and maintenance of tools and equipment.
It is unlikely that repairs are needed (see Lifecycle section), however additional blocks can be produced should sections of a structure need to be rebuilt.
The machine itself is made with standard industry parts that can be replaced in most parts of the world.
Plastic can take hundreds of years to degrade. ByFusion suggests that at the end of a lifespan of a RePlast block building, the finish can be removed and the blocks can either be rebuilt into another structure or else recycled if a technology to recycle those types of plastics comes available.
Manufacturer specified performance targets include being 100% modular, eco friendly, customisable, efficient and effective, capable of using 7 types of plastic that are available, and energy saving.
ByFusion claims that the product has undergone initial independent testing for compression, R-value, and shear strength, but no results are provided. RePlast has been used over the past few years in retaining wall projects and has withstood severe climatic conditions including earthquakes and have not shown signs of failure.
ByFusion claims that the product has undergone initial independent testing, but the names of testing organizations are not provided.
Workers may be exposed to regular dangers of a construction site that include working at heights and with sharp tools and materials. Standard safety procedures must also be followed in the operation of the ByFusion machine.
Although ByFusion intends to conduct testing for fire resistance, they recommend applying a mortar finish to protect from UV damage and to create a thermal heat barrier.
An average of the maximum compressive strength a typical structure could withstand with this building material. Units: σ (N/mm2)
An average of the maximum loads/forces perpendicular to the compressive forces that a typical structure could withstand with this building material. Units: σ (N/mm2)
A seismic design category expresses an area’s likelihood of experiencing damaging effects of an earthquake (A(low), B, C, D0, D1, D2, E(high)). This parameter denotes the highest acceptable SDC for the material.
Climatic zones appropriate for construction based on a material’s availability/feasibility in each climatic zone.
R value associated with material/product
Evaluation includes R-value and compressive strength.
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