“Recycled plastic lumber” (RPL) is made from waste plastic recovered or recovered plastic mixed with some other materials like saw dust, glass, steel rods and the like materials. As of now RPL is used only in a few places like making fences, sound barriers, flooring and furniture. RPL can prove to be very useful for the purpose of constructing temporary shelters.
Properties of RPL:
non-porous, non-degradable and moisture resistant;
adequate strength and can withstand sufficient loads; light in weight;
does not crack, splinter, chip or deform;
free from termites, fungus as well as sea water and mild chemicals;
operations like drilling, screwing, hammering etc. can be easily performed on it;
easy to manufacture and relatively cheap; and
can be again recycled to form RPL.
Boards of RPL can be made in different sizes (eg.10ftX4ft and 0.5 inch thick). Shelters can be made using these boards and stored for future use. There is provision for screwing or joining these boards. These boards can be joined using metal strips and screws. The boards used for this purpose should be treated with fire retardant material. These pre fabricated shelters can be easily packed in minimum space and sent to the required destination. As these shelters are pre fabricated they will require minimum time to assemble them. These boards also provide some insulation from heat of sun, cold and are water proof. The shelters made from RPL strengthened with wire mesh will withstand strong winds. Thus these pre fabricated shelters can be used in any kind of natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and others.
Provision can be made to join a number of these shelters so that a large room can be made which can serve as temporary hospital and storage space for relief material.