Waste Plastic Utilization

Waste Plastic Utilization


Arcilla Research, has created a family of micro mineral materials with exceptional properties under its RUBACON Programme. RUBACON -Resource Utilization for Building And CONstruction is a unit of Arcilla Research that aims to counter climate change and poverty.

RUBACON is designing a system of phased or incremental housing in which a few, simple panel components can be put together in a short time to first create a shelter. Unlike the tent, the system will offer the advantages of both permanent and temporary housing. In common with temporary housing, it will be easy to assemble and disassemble when people wish or are forced to move. As shelter, it will be relatively strong, comfortable and durable; in this way, the Shelter Panel functions as exterior shell in a phased organic metamorphosis into permanent housing.

As income becomes available, improvement and/or expansion of the shelter can take place. With an incremental concept of housing, the occupants are not obliged to abandon their shelter in order to improve living conditions. With modular elements, new rooms can be built on as needed or existing ones enhanced merely by adding the insulative or structural modules. Step by step, from humble beginnings, an aesthetically attractive and comfortable home evolves.

As a vital part of the work to create a Shelter Panel, many types of fibre – man-made and natural -were studied. Fibre composites were found to have excellent properties, particularly high impact resistance. Arcilla is convinced that Shelter Panels composed of ‘Waste’ Plastic could have a dual benefit: provide shelter for the economically deprived and rid the world of the scourge of plastic polluted seas and land.

The production process is relatively straightforward: the plastic bags and sheet are first cleaned by washing and then put through a simple machine to create chopped fibre of the proper ratio (length to diameter). The chopped fibre is mixed with the micro mineral binder and  spread into a mold for compaction into panel form. The panels are gently heated up to a temperature of ± 125 C. to cure.