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Thematic Area: Waste Management & Infrastructure
International Partner: Daniel Gaskell and Francesca Whitaker, University of Manchester, U.K.
Amrita Partners: Abhirami A. and Vineetha A.K., Department of Civil Engineering
Village: Guptapada, Orissa
Project Duration: 2 months
Identified Challenge & Aim: This project is a continuation of work done on Design of Interlocking Plastic Bricks for Toilet Construction. With a design proposed for the bricks, further analyses was required to determine which plastic waste materials, fillers, and binders, and in what proportions, would yield the most suitable bricks for toilet construction by rural women.
The Study/Innovation: Students from Amrita and the University of Manchester tested different compositions of shredded plastic,plastics, fillers, and binders that would produce optimum mechanical, chemical, and economic properties for the plastic bricks. Mixtures were tested for compression strength, tensile strength, thermal conductivity, thermal expansion coefficient, and water absorption with an appropriate ratio of the three finalized for fabrication. Guided by Mr. Harish Mohan, students also discussed and tested various manufacturing processes for the plastic bricks. After several rounds of testing, the final composition of the bricks and manufacturing method were proposed.
In addition, students conducted interviews with sampled village residents to investigate potential employment opportunities in the production of plastic bricks. Inputs from the villagers helped students come up with a pilot business plan which can be implemented in the near future.