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Engineering Materials
Bridge Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles
1/9/2012

The crew lowers composite panels made from recycled plastics into place in the 90-foot Scottish bridge structure. Source: Axion International
The crew lowers composite panels made from recycled plastics into place in the 90-foot Scottish bridge structure. Source: Axion International

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StephanieMartus
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Iron
Re: Impressive accomplishment
StephanieMartus   2/16/2012 2:47:13 AM
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An efficient way of using those plastic bottles, thus great thought of waste management. Recycling plastic is the easiest way of making our earth cleaning and free from plastic landfilling. We at Replas encouraging for the same concept of plastic recycling as we manufacturing plastic recycled products like plastic profiles, plastic deck, bollards, furniture etc.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Impressive accomplishment
Ann R. Thryft   1/30/2012 11:57:03 AM
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Actually, this material is being used for heavy-duty bridges built to take heavy traffic. The Fort Bragg bridge Chuck references was made for military vehicles, such as Army tanks, and the bridge I reported on, in Scotland, is built to take heavy equipment loads. The same material is used to build railroad bridges, including ties. Pretty amazing stuff. And it looks like the materials supplier, Axion, is increasing its production capability with at least one manufacturing facility:

http://www.azobuild.com/news.asp?newsID=14853


Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Re: Impressive accomplishment
Jack Rupert, PE   1/28/2012 2:57:56 PM
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Thanks for the info Charles.  I'm amazed that they were able to get the specs to be that good, actually.  Whilel this is not necessarily a material that you would want to use for long-term, high-weight traffic, it might be a great option for lower cost pedestrian bridges in a park, for example.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Impressive accomplishment
Ann R. Thryft   1/12/2012 12:21:01 PM
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Chuck, thanks for sifting through the specs and making comparisons with steel. Sounds like, at least for now, this material competes with steel on the lower-end apps in terms of strength and length. But at least it's been done at all--it's a start!


Charles Murray
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Re: Impressive accomplishment
Charles Murray   1/11/2012 8:19:30 PM
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Thanks for the link, Ann. From what I can tell in the Fort Bragg bridge, the Elastic Modulus was somewhere above 350 ksi, which would be very low compared to steel. Ultimate bending strength is 2,300 psi, which again would be much lower than steel. I think steel bridges are designed for 36,000 psi in bending. My guess is that this wouldn't give you the long unsupported spans that steel would but it's very impressive nonetheless and obviously has supported some high loads in short spans. 

PlasticSolutions
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Iron
Re: Impressive accomplishment
PlasticSolutions   1/11/2012 4:39:15 PM
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Great product, no doubt. But unfortunately the cost to bring the finished product up to comparitive strength is market prohibitive, hence the lack of sales (per company financials).

Nice pics though!

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Impressive accomplishment
Ann R. Thryft   1/11/2012 3:15:59 PM
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Thanks for the offer, but as a reporter I'd like to know for public use, for the readers. I do understand if you can't reveal proprietary information, and I'm sure our readers do, too.


plasticlumberman
User Rank
Iron
Re: Impressive accomplishment
plasticlumberman   1/11/2012 3:13:06 PM
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Contact me privately, I will not post this. Patents are involved.

 

The Inventor

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Impressive accomplishment
Ann R. Thryft   1/11/2012 3:10:10 PM
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Thanks for the fire-retardant info. What exactly is the "totally safe component in the material that retards fire"?

Regarding the 34:1 ROI, to be honest that's one of those phrases that tends to sound like PR or marketing, at least without enough contextual info for comparisons. ROI on exactly what? Compared to what? Those are the questions I usually ask a vendor. In any case, what readers have been wanting to know, and so have I, is the relative costs of this material vs the traditional ones, and that information doesn't seem to be available. Hence my guess that the material must be relatively inexpensive by now--or at least the comparative COO with steel must be relatively low, if the Army has been willing to pay for it.


plasticlumberman
User Rank
Iron
Re: Impressive accomplishment
plasticlumberman   1/11/2012 2:37:27 PM
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Hi Ann,

 

Did you listen to the Army video I gave the link for? There is a 34:1 ROI on the bridges. There is a totally safe component in the material that retards fire. There are also coatings we have developed to render the material totally fireproof. 

 

Regards,

 

The Inventor.

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