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TSA accredited recycler, Lomwest Enterprises of Western Australia, has created a multi- application, high-performance wall system using baled end-of-life tyres sandwiched between highly stable concrete skins.
The walling system (called C4M) is built in modules and can be used for retaining walls, sound barriers, sea and blast walls, cyclone shelters and even race track impact barriers. They are manufactured off-site which allows for quick, easy and safe onsite construction. They can also have their outer surfaces architecturally modified to fit in with or enhance their environment.
Each C4M module contains 100 tightly baled used car tyres, sandwiched between precast panels and can be up to 2.4 metres in height. They also meet Australian and New Zealand stability, durability and relevant load standards, including for cyclone shelter construction and as fire rated partition walls.
The C4M walls are particularly effective in applications requiring energy absorption and stability such as with noise or in seaside and shifting soil applications. In addition, their fire-retardant properties provide added value in fire risk areas. In fact, the modules have even been blast tested by the Australian SAS with a 30Kg ANFO explosive and have remained relatively intact.
A recent example of the successful use of C4M walls is at British Petroleum’s Kwinana refinery. There the modules have been used for a blast wall to protect infrastructure and personnel. Over 60 lineal metres of 3m-high wall was manufactured and installed within four days of receiving of the order.
As befits a product that has a high recycled content, the C4M module is also highly recyclable due to the relatively flexible nature of the tyre bale. At the end of an application’s life the concrete faces can be crushed-off by an excavator leaving the tyre bale intact for re-use with new face panels.
The TSA Market Development program is helping to fund further independent assessment of the benefits available from incorporating used tyres in such applications. The work, undertaken by Curtin University in Perth, will also assist in developing design parameters and quantifying performance properties for additional uses.
Innovative products, such as the C4M walls, can show the way forward in creating new green job opportunities and broader economic benefits from a previously intractable environmental challenge.