What is the ByFusion process?
ByFusion uses a proprietary technology platform to “upcycle” scrap plastic (without melting or degrading any polymers) using a low carbon emission and non-toxic manufacturing process. Using super-heated water, and compression, the ByFusion Process transforms waste plastic into an alternative building material called RePlast.
Are the ByFusion machines and RePlast blocks available for purchase?
Not quite yet. We are just ramping up for the US market now and working through the details on timing. Stay tuned!
Have the RePlast blocks been tested?
Yes. Our RePlast blocks have undergone initial independent testing for compression, R-value, and shear strength. However, since we continue making improvements to our process and to RePlast, additional (and continual) testing will be conducted to ensure we meet the US and international-standard levels for building materials.
Over the years, RePlast has been used for a variety of projects including the construction of retaining walls in New Zealand and California, and have withstood severe environmental exposure, including multiple earthquakes, without showing any visible signs of stress or degradation. Check out our gallery to see our Santa Barbara test.
What types of plastic can be used?
Our patented process uses almost all types (#1 – #7) of plastic, individually or mixed and clean or contaminated, with the exception of 100% Polystyrene (#6). Polystyrene and other “foamed” applications cannot be used individually in our process due to a lack of structural integrity.
What are the dimensions of the ByFusion machine?
Our initial standard size machine is fully self-contained in a 40-foot container.
Does the machine require any special sound proofing? Is it loud?
The noise decibel levels are equal to an idling diesel truck – sound levels are fairly low but protection is recommended. In terms of working space a 5’-8’ perimeter safety barrier should be enforced during use. The machine plugs into a 3-phase plug US 240-watt outlet.
How much water is used during the process and how is wastewater treated?
We currently use a 600-gallon tank that recycles all waste water using high micron centrifugal filtering and our water supply can be used continuously for 10-16 weeks before the screens and filters are changed. We assume that based on seepage we will need to replenish at least 100 gallons of water to the tank when the filters are replaced. The end result is fully filtered, non-potable water that can be disposed of down a standard drain or according to local EPA and state regulations. Used filters are disposed of at a TSDF hazardous waste disposal facility or according to specific state regulations.
Do machine operators need special training and what are the safety hazards?
After an initial procedural training session explaining the process and mechanical components, no additional training is necessary to run the machine. A foreman is recommended and ideally s/he would have a background in basic mechanical systems and repairs.
The ByFusion machine uses standard industry parts that can be easily replaced in most locations. The process itself is non-toxic and releases no chemicals or fumes outside of water vapor. Although designed for user-safety, the process uses both a plastic shredder and water boiler and proper safety procedures need to be followed at all times.
Before operation a safety and emergency management plan designed according to OSHA regulations needs to be put into place. For specific requirements please visit the OSHA website at: www.osha.gov. There may be additional state requirements as well.
Does the ByFusion process use any chemicals or glues to create RePlast?
Our non-toxic manufacturing process uses no caustic chemicals, has no off-gassing, and incorporates no binding agents or solvents. In some applications we may be asked to add UV protectant or paint to the RePlast blocks during production. We continue to research multiple sources of natural, eco-friendly protective laminate, as well as plant-based dyes, paints and resins.
What is the fire-resistance rating of RePlast?
Although final classification has yet to be determined, the major types of commercially used plastics are not easily combustible and all have different baseline reactions to flame. Our upcoming test plans include conducting full ASTM fire rating testing to international standards using a variety of input plastic matrixes.
We highly recommend that RePlast be clad in a mortar of some kind both for UV protection and to increase the temperature necessary before ignition and/or to lower the rate of burning.