Why don’t we build homes out of recycled thermoplastics? I’ve see some in Latin American countries, but they’ve not been a runaway success, though I can’t understand why.
It seems like some of the obvious problems are pretty easily accounted for:
* Thermoplastics out gas
* Put a sealant (glass-filled epoxy paint comes to mind) and then drywall between the plastic beams or bricks and the outgassing happens outside of the enclosed space just like in a landfill.
* They weaken in high temperature climates.
* Stiffness could be accounted for by integrating rebar or wire mesh in the plastic moulding process.
Using bricks and beams of recycled plastic seem like they have some obvious advantages:
* Because of low cost, plastic heavy bricks could be pretty tolerant of contaminants and thermal history of their feed stock thus enabling the use of recycled plastics.
* It doesn’t matter the color since it’ll be painted on both sides.
* You could mould NEMA enclosures and electrical conduit into the brick itself.
* The price of recycled PET plastic is ~$140/ton but a ton of lumber is much higher and still requires electrical fixturing and pipe/plumbing fixturing that could be built in to a Lego brick style plastic construction.