Brazil Builds Houses Using Coke Bottles as Bricks

Cut PET brick inside a woodee mouldConcerned about the volume of soft drink bottles thrown in the waterways of Manaus, capital of the northern Brazilian state of Amazonas, physics professor Newton Lima decided to make use of them in an academic project.

He and four students of the civil engineering course at the Lutheran University of Brazil (Ulbra) made the waste into a scientific research project. The result is the "PET brick", made out of quartz sand, cement and the bottle.

PET or polyethylene terephthalate is a plastic developed in 1941 by Rex Whinfield and James Dickson, two British chemists. The product is commonly used by Coca-Cola and other soft drink producers.

The PET bottle is used whole, closed, with its top on, and is covered by a layer of sand and cement. To produce the brick, Lima and his students developed a wooden mould. Once ready, various tests took place to know whether it would resist being put into a construction.

"Resistance tests show that, with the bottle top on, the brick rarely breaks. It was proved to be within the norms established by the Brazilian Association of Technical Norms (ABNT)," stated the professor.

But the PET bottle is not used just to cover space and to stop the product from cluttering the waterways. The air within the bottle also serves as an insulator, making the brick perfect for hot regions like Manaus, where the temperature regularly exceeds 40º Celsius.

The idea was so successful that Ulbra itself is offering a course to teach masons how to set up the electric installation when using the PET brick. Apart from that, an architecture student at the university is developing her end of course project on the matter. Her objective is to build a house using the bricks. Just to give an idea, 1,500 bricks are necessary to build 25 square meters.

Trade

According to the Ulbra professor, there are already people interested in selling the bricks, but no agreement has been established yet. What would be interesting, according to Lima, would be joining some students from the administration course at the university to prepare a business plan for the project to become even more complete.

"Many people come here to learn about it, to see how the brick works, how it is made," stated the professor. "But there is still nothing concrete into making the product commercial." The professor has already asked for a patent for the brick.

However, more than making the PET brick into a commercial product, professor Lima dreams of seeing it as a key item in the construction of low-income housing.

"Here, in Manaus, constructions in the poorer neighborhoods are made out of wood, plastic and cardboard. As it is hard to make the bricks, we could establish work groups to build houses out of them.

In this point of view, it is a doubly promising project," stated Lima. "Apart from studying to help reduce the waste in the waterways, we could build more low-income housing."

Contact

Newton Lima
E-mail:
newtonulbra@gmail.com

Anba – www.anba.com.br

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazilians Buy 15% More Christmas Gifts

A survey conducted by the Brazilian Association of Shopping Center Store Owners (Alshop) indicates ...

Opposition Takes Sí£o Paulo and Minas, Almost Half of Brazil’s GDP

The Brazilian Social Democrat opposition, party to which former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso belongs, ...

Porto Ferreira Sells Brazilian Tiles to 115 Countries

Brazilian company Porto Ferreira, a maker of floor tiles, ceramics and facing, which is ...

Businessman Sylas Souza Silveira in Pakistan in 2005.

For 20 Years This Brazilian Has Been Rushing to World’s Worst Natural Disasters

Businessman Sylas Souza Silveira is going to be awarded the Order of Rio Branco, ...

Family Farms in Brazil Represent 38% of the National Agricultural Production

Brazil’s National Program to Strengthen Family Farming (Pronaf) is expected to benefit approximately 2 ...

Brazil’s Lula Wants a World Where Poor Benefit from Globalization

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said on his speech, during the opening ...

Brazil’s Petrobras Threatened with Ousting from Bolivia

Bolivia's leftist government warned energy companies including Brazil's Petrobras that they must commit to ...

Revenue Down in Brazil by 2%

Brazilian government revenue was US$ 9.581 billion (25.745 billion reais) in November which, although ...

Brazil Campaign Raises Bone Marrow Donors to 130,000

After a yearlong campaign to encourage bone marrow donations, the number of donors has ...

Brazil’s Fenearte: For 10 Days 4000 Artisans Show Their Art

Approximately 4,000 Brazilian artisans will start exhibiting work from all states of Brazil and ...