Axion, in conjunction with scientists at Rutgers University, has developed a plastic polymer that is a mixture of shredded plastics and fibreglass with no chemical additives.
The polymer is moulded into a final product that can be used as a replacement for traditional materials made from wood, steel and concrete, such as girders, pilings, railroad ties, I-beams and boards.
Axion’s piece-de-resistance has been the development of a seven metre by four metre foot thermoplastic bridge in Maine and the first 100 per cent recycled plastic vehicular bridge in the US highway system that complies with the specifications set by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
The early successes of the Axion polymer offer a possible solution to America’s epidemic of hard plastic bottle waste. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2010, the US generates 31 million tonnes of new plastics annually and only recycles 27.5 per cent of hard plastics, compared to 71 per cent of newspapers and 67 per cent of steel cans.
There is also a strong argument that recycled hard plastics could also be an important substitute raw material for limestone in cement production, as the Axion polymer, according to president Steven Silverman, will not “rust, splinter, crumble, rot, absorb moisture or leach toxic chemicals into the environment”.
Sources: Aggregate Research, TriplePundit