Recycled plastic lumber

Mixed domestic plastic waste is cut up into small flakes, melted at 200°C into a grey viscous liquid and cast into moulds to produce structural components. The product,polywood, has been used to create a 7.5 m span lightweight bridge with a capacity of 30 tonnes in America. Recycled plastic was used to construct the

North elevation

Fig. 15.5 Earth-sheltered housing - south and north elevations. The Hockerton Housing Project, Southwell, Nottinghamshire. Photographs: Copyright of Hockerton Housing Project

North elevation

Fig. 15.5 Earth-sheltered housing - south and north elevations. The Hockerton Housing Project, Southwell, Nottinghamshire. Photographs: Copyright of Hockerton Housing Project l-beams and other structural sections. Recycled plastic lumber has the advantage over timber that it requires no maintenance or treatment with noxious chemicals and its use reduces the demand on landfill sites. Polywood is light, although more dense than timber; however, it suffers from creep. Also, it has greater thermal movement and lower stiffness (modulus of elasticity) than timber. Prior to its recent structural use, polywood has been used for decking, fencing, garden furniture and various marine applications.

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