Investigating Building Material Composed of Recycled Polymer Adhesives

The purpose of this project was to create a new building material with compost and a recycled polymer binder and to determine how its strength, absorption, and density compare to that of wood.

To create this material, an ethocellulose binder was combined with toluene and the ABS plastic was dissolved into this mixture. This binder was then combined with compost in the final stage of decomposition and laid into blocks. This was compared with a more conventional binder of Elmer's glue which was also combined with compost in the final stage. Once these blocks were both fully cured, shear force was recorded using the number of Newtons it took to break the blocks in two. To analyze the best combination for the composition of the experimental blocks, Design of Experiment was used. The best two results from this experiment were taken and used in the density and water absorption tests. These one variable tests compared the properties of the experimental blocks to that of woods. It was concluded that over all the ethocellulose binder (recycled polymer adhesive) worked the best in the experimental blocks, however conventional wood still had the strongest shear force. Further research into different kinds of polymers will lead to a stronger adhesive and building material.

Research Done By:

Kristen Myers

Brad Mitchell