Silica Plastic Block- a sustainable brick with 20% Plastic 80% Sand/Dust

A Brick made entirely out of waste products

The Construction industry is responsible for 39% of the world’s CO2 emissions. It means that we need a serious research into finding materials and techniques that could lower this emission. Keeping this in view, Rhino Machines, India has launched a truely sustainable alternative to the traditional brick called the Silica Plastic Block (SPB) made from recycling foundry dust/ sand waste (80%) and mixed plastic waste (20%) in collaboration with architectural firm R+D Studio.

How it all began

The Silica Plastic Blocks or SPB project was started off with a clear target of from the sand reclamation plant in rhino machines foundry plant. While initial experiments were based on using foundry dust in cement-bonded fly ash bricks (7-10% waste recycled) and clay bricks (15% waste recycled) they were using a copius amount of resources like cement, water and fertile soil deeming the process not environment friendly. After many trials, the R&D team, found the possibility of bonding the sand/foundry dust with plastic. With Plastic as the bonding agent, the need for water during mixing and thereafter curing is completely eliminated.

A total of six tonnes of plastic waste and sixteen tonnes of dust + sand from the foundry industry were collected from verious hospitals, societies, individuals, social organizations, and the local municipal corporations to create the SPB  bricks.

The blocks can be directly used after cooling down from molding process. Once the process is finalized, over the period of four months, nearly six tones of plastic waste from varied institutions and sixteen tonnes of dust and sand from the foundry industry were collected, ready to be recycled.

Strength and testing

The SPB bricks are 2.5 times stronger than the regular red clay bricks and used 80% lesser natural resources. They can also be used as paver blocks. Being create out of waste, the cost of production for SPB is relatively lower as compared to red clay brick. The SPBs could be used to build walls, toilets, school campuses, health clinics, pavers, drive ways etc.

Walls created out of SPB Bricks

Created out of waste, it entails a relatively low production cost. Rhino Machines is working on an ecosystem solution so that the foundries across the country can develop and distribute the SPBs within their zones.

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