Feeds

Billionaire floats eco dream on sailing soda bottles

Plastiki and the 100% recyclable yacht

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Like no boat ever built

Indeed, the Plastiki will be unlike any oceangoing boat ever built, mainly because 100 percent of the materials it's made of is recyclable. Because seaworthy vessels must be both extremely light and strong, most are made of fiberglass-reinforced polymer, a compound that's not recyclable at all.

Today, when boats are decommissioned, their hulls have to be discarded. De Rothschild envisions a day when old boats are disassembled and their raw materials are melted down and used to make new boats. If de Rothschild's dream floats, the process would be extended to car door panels, medical equipment, and thousands of other items that today are made from single-use plastics.

The special sauce that makes Plastiki recyclable is a polymer known as srPET, short for self-reinforcing polyethylene terephthalate. It's made from the same PET used to make soda bottles - except it's processed into a woven fiber mat that possesses unusual strength for a plastic, thanks to its two-dimensional strands, which act like self-reinforcing beams in a house.

Two woven srPET mats - which in their raw form look like cloth napkins - are heat-bonded to the top and bottom of PET foam boards to create structural "sandwich" panels with strength-to-weight ratios unattainable in the foam boards alone. The result is a self-supporting material with the strength and lightness approaching those of fiberglass or carbon fiber.

But because the PET isn't commingled with other substances, it's also fully recyclable, unlike those latter two compounds.

The sandwich panels connect the pontoons and support the deck of the boat. The pontoons themselves will be composed of 12,500 soda bottles that de Rothschild has insisted be externally visible. They are pressurized by dropping 12 grams of dry ice into each one and then sealing it. After the carbon dioxide reverts by to a gaseous state, the ultra-light container is virtually unbreakable, or at least strong enough to be run over by a Land Rover sport utility vehicle. (It can still be punctured by a sharp object).

Panel holding pressurized soda bottles

A panel holding bottles to be loaded into the ship's hull.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.