A Spanish research group has invented a new cobble built from industrial polymer waste. This new material can be used for the construction of flooring, paving, slabs and similar structures. They are looking for commercial and research cooperation agreements with construction and building companies.
A Spanish research group has developed a procedure for the manufacture of a lightweight cement eco-cobble with industrial polymer waste. This technology allows waste from car roofs to be disposed of, creating a material with very good properties and with application in the construction and civil engineering sector. This invention was born with the aim of reusing the polymer present on the roofs of vehicles, thus contributing to the circular economy. This material is mainly composed of polyurethane, mixed with additives, metal oxides, paint remains, among others. The procedure described by the researchers produces waste whose recycling process was practically non-existent. The final material has dimensions of 200x100x60mm, although these can be modified according to demand. Regarding the appearance of the eco-cobble, it does not present significant cracks or imperfections. The tests carried out result in an improvement in the mechanical properties, of which the resistance to wear due to abrasion, resistance to slipping and breakage stands out. It would be desired to find companies and research groups from all around Europe to transfer the technology and/or start a collaboration with this Spanish institution. Applying for European funds could be a very interesting option, so would be to work in a new project based on their needs.
Advantages and innovations
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- The main advantage offered by this procedure is the use of all the waste to produce the final material, thus avoiding the separation of the different components (polyurethane, metal oxides, additives, etc.). The addition of this industrial residue improves the physical and mechanical properties of the paving stone, reducing its weight by up to 13% compared to traditional paving stones. It is possible to maintain and even improve various mechanical properties, of the eco-cobble, such as resistance to breakage.
- On the other hand, the building material described, complies with current regulations, which facilitates its application in the construction and civil engineering sector.
: NEXT EEN Widgets (europa.eu)
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