With all meaningful projects that require products, prototyping is needed. This week the team collected the remaining materials needed to construct the road and undertook the prototyping phase of the project. The aim was to find the best composition of raw materials which will bring about the best possible product.
Our process of prototyping begun with the formation of plastic-bitumen composite samples. With the focus of our project on recycling plastic waste to construct durable roads, we sought to find the effect of a sample containing more plastic than bitumen. The following was the processes we went through n formation of samples:
- Melt bitumen in a large pan to liquid form.
- Add 3 1000cups of shredded PET plastic (3000 of plastic) to the hot bitumen.
- Stir to melt the plastic in the bitumen to make an even mixture of bitumen and plastic waste.
- Fetch hot mixture and fill cast of 5cm thickness.
- Add 3 more 1000cups of shredded PET plastic to the hot mixture to increase plastic concentration.
- Stir to melt the plastic in the mixture once more.
- Fetch the hot mixture and fill another cast.
- Repeat the process till the bitumen-plastic mixture reaches saturation.
- Leave samples in a cool place for it to solidify.
From this process we made 4 samples with different concentrations of plastic waste. From the creation process we saw that an increasing concentration of plastic increases the thickness of the mixture to saturation. This observation showed signs of the relationship between the strength of the road and the concentration of plastic within it.
The end of the prototyping process involved the testing of the samples. We undertook bend tests on each sample to determine which sample had a higher resistance to bends and cracks. The results of this test will be presented this Thursday, 5th April,2018 in the Leadership IVe seminar and the findings would inform us on how to build our roads and conclude the prototyping phase.