Harder than concrete but much more ecological: ByFusion turn tons of non-recyclable plastic into building blocks
As much as we fight against single-use plastics, millions of tons continue to be produced. Some are reused, but there is a large amount of plastic that cannot be recycled. Fortunately, there are some solutions to reuse this huge amount of material.
That’s what Los Angeles-based company ByFusion does. Through a vaporization and compression process, they shape the plastics into blocks that they call ByBlocks and can be used for construction as they have a resistance as high as concrete.
More than 100 tons of plastic have already been turned into blocks
ByFusion blocks are strong enough to be used in any type of construction. We talk from houses to bus stops, passing through walls and other types of barriers. Its base size is 16 x 8 x 8 inches, which is about 40 x 20 x 20 centimeters .
As described by the company, the blocks are lighter than their equivalent in cement. Approximately 4.5 kilos less. But they claim they are just as durable.
The true innovation of this company is not the blocks, but the machine that allows them to be compacted. These machines are called Blockers. Blockers can turn tons of plastic into blocks without the need to classify or clean them.
ByFusion currently has one of these machines installed at its headquarters with the capacity to process up to 450 tons of plastic per year. The intention is to have up to 12 of these machines before the end of the year. To date, the company claims that it has already compacted 103 tons of non-recyclable plastic.
BREAKTHROUGH IN SEPARATING PLASTIC WASTE: MACHINES CAN NOW DISTINGUISH 12 DIFFERENT TYPES OF PLASTIC
In contrast to common perceptions, plastic is in no way near one material. Rather, it is a combination of many materials (polymers) with different chemical compounds and additives such as pigments or fibers, depending on its use. It is very difficult to tell the difference between different types of plastics, and this is what makes it difficult to separate and recycle them.
The Dutch studio’s limited-edition collection titled The Elements, showcasing wave-like 3D encoded beach furniture, is digitally manufactured from 80 per cent recycled plastic.
This company intends to distribute its machines on a large scale so that companies and municipalities can reuse all the non-recyclable plastic.
Among the uses that have been given to these blocks is the construction of a house. Of course, as part of these plastics can be susceptible to sunlight, the company explains that they must be covered with resistant paint designed for exteriors.
In the creation process, no type of glue or addition is incorporated. If we have 20 kilos of garbage, the material will be enough to make 20 kilos of blocks. An ingenious solution that can be an interesting patch to take advantage of all those plastics that should disappear, but unfortunately they are still very present.
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