The new owners of Resource Plastics Inc., once a major post-consumer polyethylene recycler, are converting the plant to mold composite building components. Daedalus Project Inc. is adding equipment to the Brantford, Ontario, operation — now called Daedalus Composites Inc. —to make panels for low-cost housing.
The panels will be for basic shelters for use in developing nations, said Daedalus Project marketing manager Anton Bricker. He expects the facility to begin making panels for captive use by midyear, he said in a telephone interview from the parent firm's headquarters in Alexandria, Va.
Resource Plastics went up for sale a year ago after a failed attempt to restructure when it ran into financial difficulties. Daedalus bought the assets in May. Bricker initially said his firm paid US$1.7 million; he later claimed that figure was wrong, but declined to provide another.
In July, the operation began doing toll reprocessing of post-industrial polyethylene and polypropylene, Bricker said. The plant is running below capacity, and Daedalus is trying to get volumes up to what they were before Resource closed. Daedalus claims the plant can recycle more than 100,000 pounds of scrap a day.
One of Daedalus' projects is finding ways of using recycled materials to provide low-cost housing in overcrowded countries. Composite-panel shelters could be used for disaster-relief and temporary or permanent housing, Bricker said.
The organization is developing panels made of high density PE and glass fibers. Bricker said it is looking at compression molding to make the panels and will install suitable equipment at Brantford. Daedalus now has panel prototypes made by outside contractors.
The company plans to make Brantford its first production-scale operation. Other materials that could be blended with recycled polyolefins are sand, talc and wood fiber.
The Brantford plant has washing, compounding extrusion and blending systems that also can make products for other firms interested in sourcing recycled polyolefins.