PROJECT PLASTIC 2018 candidate: CycleBrick - simple use of recycled plastic in emerging economies

This project uses low technology to transform plastic waste into low-cost construction materials. The design is made exclusively with available materials and existing technology in emerging countries.

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In this project plastic waste is the problem and the solution.

The soft plastic is usually disposed by open incineration in the streets or dumped into the oceans in the target areas of this project, causing both health and environmental burdens.

The wide temperature range between the melting point and the toxic point of PP and LDPE makes it possible to melt with very low technology, while safety precautions are easily accomplished. The max compressive strength of the sand and plastic brick is 17.7 MPa, which is almost the same as a regular Danish brick (20.5 MPa).

The CycleBrick can be used in many types of constructions; however, examinations considering micro plastic must be made before the Bricks are used for residences.

The method to manufacturer the CycleBrick can be utilised for e. g. outdoor furniture, playgrounds and sheds.


University and the academic level of the project:

Special course at DTU management.
Level: Master
ETCS 15 (each of the 3 participants)
Study line: Architectural Engineering


Which type(s) of plastics/production processes are used in your solution?

Materials: Recycled LDPE and PP.
Processes: Soft plastic is very easy to identify for common people. The plastic is melted in a low-tech grill, with a little rape seed oil used to illustrate the smoking point and further speed up the melting process. Regular sand is mixed into the plastic. The mixture is shaped in an such shape that mortar can be avoided.
Use: Smaller constructions and walls. The bricks need further development and examination before they can be utilized for residences.


More information:


The moulding proces:
A hot mixture of sand and melted plastic is mixed with a drilling machine and a mixing drill bit, as seen in picture 10. The mixture is transferred into the shape in 2-3 portions and compressed after each portion to remove air and make the brick compact and strong. The excess mixture is removed before the bricks dries/cool down. The bricks can be taken out of the shapes after approx. two hours.

PROJECT PLASTIC is a talent competition for engineering students. The purpose is to celebrate the talented students that as part of their degree lead the way in how to use plastic materials to create innovative solutions. The competition is being administrated by The Danish Plastics Federation.

Read more about PROJECT PLASTIC

The 11 best candidates for PROJECT PLASTIC 2018