Are plastic bricks the future?

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A new brick made from domestic plastic waste claims to provide 10 times better insulation levels than traditional clay bricks.

The brick is constructed using 3D printing and lattice architecture technologies, which involve criss-crossing strips of the plastic materials to form a grid.

Dr Karthikeyan Kandan, senior lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at De Montfort University Leicester has created the brick made entirely from upcycled plastic waste.

Plastic bricks the future
Are plastic bricks the future

The design is inspired by nature, after Dr Kandan examined the structure of the Baya weaver bird’s nest which is renowned for its elaborately woven construction.

He said: “The Baya weaver bird’s nest’s ingenious construction gives it excellent thermal insulation and mechanical properties for inhabitation.

“Inside there is a central nesting chamber, which makes it the ideal micro-climate for inhabitation.

‘By replicating this structure, we have manufactured a brick that improves energy efficiency of modern buildings and therefore can reduce carbon foot print.

“Our brick, made from all kinds of domestic plastic waste – from coffee cup lids to plastic bottles – exhibits a tremendous thermal envelope over conventional building materials.”