A pan European consortium has manufactured its first ‘test barrier panel’ for use in flood defences.The process developed by Plastic Recyclate Impression Moulding Engineering (PRIME) produces high grade products from low grade mixed plastic waste. Mixed polymer waste is used to produce products with ‘similar properties to timber or aluminium’, ideal for flood defence barriers and other marine applications. Environmental testing on the panels, including UV, humidity, moisture and flame testing are continuing, and further production trials are now to be carried out to manufacture a final prototype flood barrier. Tests should be completed by June this year with the full results available later in the year. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is also being carried out, comparing panels manufactured using mixed plastic waste and panels manufactured from aluminium, which is currently widely used in flood barriers.
The PRIME consortium is made up of 10 partners, five from the UK, including Brunel University, Acorn and flood defence specialists Caro, three from Belgium, one from France and one from Hungary, all working in partnership with the EC's Research Executive Agency.