Building with Old Bathtubs

Building with Old Bathtubs

22nd December 2015

Here at Safety Fabrications we’re always on the lookout for new building techniques and materials so that we can keep our readers up to date with what’s going on in the construction industry.  We’re living in exciting times when progress and developments in materials technology is changing the way in which we build stuff.  We’ve recently brought you news of the latest developments in the concrete industry as this fascinating and versatile material is brought bang up to date for 21st Century building and living.  In recent years, using environmentally friendly building practices and materials has become more important as we strive to tread lightly on this planet, keeping pollution to a minimum and embracing the culture of recycling in order to have less of a negative impact on the environment. 

We’ve just come across some exciting news about a new type of cement that has the potential to be even stronger than the conventional cement that we’ve used until now.  An international team of researchers from England, Spain and Brazil have developed a new type of cement that’s made from ceramic waste like toilets, bathtubs and basins.  With so many of us changing our bathroom suites to provide ourselves with modern new style facilities to perform our ablutions, getting rid of the old suites that are ripped out usually means consigning them to landfill.  Landfill waste presents us with a whole new set of problems and more of us are looking at ways of disposing of waste and unwanted items in an environmentally friendly manner.  Recycling old bathroom suites into the next generation of building materials is the perfect solution.

In order to create this new type of cement, scientists grind up the old ceramics and then mix them with water and an activating solution which contains sodium hydroxide or sodium silicate.  The mixture is then poured into moulds and exposed to heat until it sets into a solid mass.  In order to make the process even more eco-friendly, scientists are looking at ways of using rice husk ash as an activator solution which would mean removing one more material out of the waste stream.  This would also mean that the cement is made purely from recycled waste materials.

Research is also taking place testing another mixture which uses red clay brick to produce a greener cement that would be stronger than the conventional cement in use nowadays.

Currently cement production is a massive contributor to the unsustainable levels of CO2 so a completely recycled method of producing cement would make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 levels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  It would also mean that a substantial amount of waste that is currently ending up in land fill would be taken out of circulation and be put to much more effective use by providing building materials for future homes and businesses. 

As we strive to reduce the impact that we have on the planet and develop environmentally new ways of production, we’re facing exciting times with innovative new materials and revolutionary new techniques being discovered that are changing the way we work and live.