September 29, 2008
Light, Armored Panels Can Create Emergency Modular Housing,
Reduce Reliance on Plywood
SWANSEA, Wales--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Protomax Plastics Ltd, an engineering company based in Swansea, Wales, UK, announced today it has developed machinery to turn discarded plastic bags, old milk cartons and other waste products into bulletproof, fireproof panels for emergency modular housing and other construction uses.
“This technology has a wide range of applications, from construction of modular housing to materials for the automotive, security and defense sectors,” said Nick Stillwell, Managing Director of Protomax. “The panels can be produced on-site using local waste material, since the technology is easily transported and the panels are light and easy to handle, allowing quicker assembly than with traditional building materials.”
The panels, which comply with all building regulations, can replace plywood in many other applications such as partitions, walls on construction sites, pallets and roofing. The panels can also be used to make surfboards and kayaks, and can be used by the military for construction of lightweight Kevlar protected panels. Used panels can be reprocessed to form new panels, eliminating landfill.
The Welsh Assembly Government has provided Protomax with assistance to finance the design, development and manufacture of the technology, which is expected to go into production in January 2009.
Geraint Jones, head of International Business Wales North America, said Protomax is reinforcing the Welsh manufacturing industry’s transition to alternative energy and environmentally friendly practices. “These ‘green’ panels can be used in a variety of applications, another example of the creative spirit of Welsh companies developing new technology with far reaching potential,” Jones said.
The process of turning recyclables into usable materials was developed in 2002 by Detroit-based 3DM Technologies Inc. for the Chrysler Corp., which wanted to build strong, lightweight panels for pickup trucks, Stillwell noted. Protomax developed its product based on the technology, and applied it to other industries.
Protomax is currently carrying out major trials for a number of large UK companies. Several car assembly plants are interested in using the panels for vehicle trolleys, and hospitals are investigating their use for office cubicles.