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Technology: Bottles find second life in the sewers

作者:仉窜斡    发布时间:2019-03-03 02:05:06    

By IAN ANDERSON in MELBOURNE In South Australia, discarded plastic bottles are being turned into pipes as strong as concrete. The pipes, strengthened on the outside by thin bands of steel, can be used for flood and stormwater drains, sewers, and irrigation systems. The pipes are made out of polyethylene from discarded milk and fruit juice bottles. The company Rib Loc Australia, which makes the pipes, estimates that by 1993 it will reuse about 25 000 tonnes of plastic each year, about 3 per cent of what is discarded in Australia. The Rib Loc technology was developed in the 1980s in Adelaide by inventor Bill Menzel, but in the past it did not use recycled plastic. The change has brought the price down, making the plastic pipes a cheap alternative to concrete pipes. ‘We can get the pipes to a construction site at a cost 10 per cent less than concrete,’ says Jim Marsh of Rib Loc. ‘The lighter weight also makes them cheaper to lay.’ The Rib Loc pipes are made by melting resins, PVC or polyethylene and extruding the viscous fluid as a plastic strip with a groove along one edge and a ridge along the other. The strips are wound on to large drums and fed into a machine that locks the ridge from one edge into the groove on the edge of the neighbouring turn of the strip,

 

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