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Oriented standard boards made of shredded recycled PET plastic

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 01, 2022
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Oriented standard boards (OSB) made of shredded recycled PET plastic instead of wood.
I was sure this already existed but couldn't find anything on google. It should exist.
  • A great way of making recycled bottles useful as construction material.
  • Store gigatons of plastic in building walls that nobody will even know is there.
  • Houses built out of steel and plastic would last for generations.
How it works
OSB boards are extremely useful in construction. Houses can be made from it.
This video describes the manufacturing process:

Replace the wood shavings with shredded PET plastic from recycled bottles.
If necessary modify the resin to be more suitable for PET rather than wood.
No resin experiment
I was thinking.. in wood-based OSB resin is used to bond the wood together. In PET-based OSB layers of PET shavings could be sprayed or poured over with melted PET. The melted PET would hold the board together while the recycled shavings provide flexibility.
The recycling process could cut off the neck and bottom part of bottles because those contain more rigid plastic. Those would then be melted to replace glue.
If it works, this should simplify the process and make it cheaper.

Creative contributions

Textile alternatives are possible too

Darryl Koh Yuan Jie
Darryl Koh Yuan Jie Jan 02, 2022
I think this is a feasible and environmentally changing idea! To be honest, I am also suprised it has not been set into production and sold on the market. Your idea about streamlining the production process by using the melted PET as resin itself, could work but I guess it will take some experimenting! The main goal would be to see how it affects the overall properties of the board and whether it is strong enough to sustain in the long run.
This journal article has a similar idea to what you presented, where waste polyethene were added in different ratios to resin to study its effect on the properties of OSB boards. Samples with 30% waste polyethene produced the most optimum results, though I would argue that different properties are required for different aspects of building. In this experiment, Phenol formaldehyde resin was used which is a common adhesive used for OSB boards. Phenolic plastic can actually be found in certain thermoset bottles and in the production of electrical circuit boards. There are many kinds of plastic that can be made into resin and I also chanced upon this list on the types of plastic used in bottles. I'm thinking if there was a way to experiment upon the different resins and also figure the most commercially used types of plastic, it is possible to come with a cost-effective(availabillity of plastic, suitiable properties for OSB) in terms of production. This is definitely an interesting idea on paper, I hope it is able to translate well in reality too!
Alternatively, another journal article also suggests that unwanted textile(unused clothing or waste) could be a great alternative too, with it's results concluding that incoportating textile waste as a reinforcement structure increased tensile strength, bending resistance and density among other improvements.
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Include the fine plywood used for furniture, too

jnikola Jan 14, 2022
OSB boards are, as you said, usually used for walls, floors, or similar surfaces, but never for fine furniture. I was thinking, why couldn't we use the same technology for the plywood?
  • Replacing another building material with recycled plastic is great
  • Preserving the premium "wood" looks by using less wood at the same time
How would it work?
Every premium looking plywood has
  • the core made from glued layers or shreds of wood (or the carton) and
  • the outer layer made of fine pywood or the real wood
What we would be replacing is the core. As Darko Savic suggested, we could shred the plastics, glue it together, create the fine finish using heated pressure and place wooden or plywood outer layer to make it look great.
Additional information
Plywood is widely used for indoor and outdoor furniture, cabinets, start coverings, roofing, flooring, skateboard ramps, dog houses, etc . It is an engineered timber product made from many layers of thin sheets/shreds of wood that are glued together . Depending on the application, plywood for furniture can be combined with carton to create lightweight ply cardboard (figure below). For example, Ikea's furniture is often made like this, with wooden plywood parts on the places where screws will come. That's why their wooden boards are so light.
Figure 1. Carton ply



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General comments

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
As you mentioned, items made from shredded plastic waste do exist. In India, I have seen table tops at restaurants that are thick sheets of heat-compressed plastic waste coated with either resin or turpentine. They look like this but are much bigger. Here is another website that showcases items made from shredded plastic waste. They look fancy and may need extra work like sorting the plastic waste based on color and shape and size and also arranging those pieces to make patterns.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni HDPE type of plastic is relatively easy to recycle (melt, reshape). This is not the case for PET. It becomes brittle when re-melted. PET cannot be reused for plastic bottles because impurities make the bottles look bad. Since drinking water bottles are made of it I imagine it's the most abundant plastic waste that's littering the planet.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
Darko Savic The ones I saw were not melted and remold. The items (table) had bits of plastic wrapper and other plastic bits in them. The bits were very small though (like in the cover image). Since I could distinguish between the bits, I think they were not completely melted. The heat compression is just to smoothen the edges so that they look even. The small amount of heat also binds the different types of plastic together and lets the air escape so the item does not fall apart. But I don't know the process in detail. I need to check.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni If different/indiscriminate types of plastic can be compressed together then that would be an even better board than the one proposed in this idea.
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