Ring-Weave: Recycle Tires Into Territory

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Gerd Weiland writes:

> i had the good fortune to identify (invent) a simple yet unique development in weaving technology–the ring-weave–which in context with the creative recycling of scrap tires, offers not only a quantum leap in waste dissposal efficiency but in my opinion the technological and engineering prerequisit to construct safe indestructable floating foundations for offshore dwellings of any shape dissplacement or size. The ring weave, when applied to a scrape tire — transforms trash to treasure through a simple unskilled proceedure–cutting off the side walls–leaving a high tensile strength steel reenforced rubber band and weaving these together, represents the only proccess to create the construction element required.

The technology is described at [ringtech.de](http://www.ringtech.de/en/index.html), and pictured here in its 3 distinct weave types:

![Ring Weave - Type H](http://www.ringtech.de/images/typ_h.gif)
![Ring Weave - Type L](http://www.ringtech.de/images/typ_l.gif)
![Ring Weave - Type D](http://www.ringtech.de/images/typ_d.gif)

The construction procedure is quite simple – get recycled tires, cut off the sidewalls (leaving a single strong ring), and weave them together in a clever closed weave that does not require cutting the loops. All one needs is to add some buoyancy (for example, capped recycled plastic bottles located inside the weave), and you have a floating surface. The materials are strong and cheap, because you are recycling something that is thrown away in vast quantities, and the combination of rubber and weave makes for a flexible surface which can move with the waves. It will presumably attenuate them as well, so the closer to the center you get, the less surface motion there will be. Only downside is that it doesn’t generate power from the attenuation, but it seems like a pretty neat design. It would make a great [Ephemerisle](http://ephemerisle.org) project – if anyone is interested in trying it out, drop me a line and we can talk about grant funding.

The inventor is planning to use this technology in a project called [CREATE SURVIVAL RAFT](http://www.konsumensch.de/index.php?open=159), where he will teach villagers in areas affected by storm surge and flood conditions to build survival rafts using these methods.

This design is an example of what I call a “wave blanket”, consisting of many flexibly connected modules that each move with the waves (like rafts or small boats) but together form a city. While I began being most optimistic about spar platforms and breakwaters, our engineering research so far, including [Clubstead](http://seasteading.org/mission/additionalreading/clubstead) and Eelco’s preliminary research, has led me over the past 6 months to suspect that wave blankets may be the ideal combination of scalability both up and down. While the exact module and connection design matters a great deal, wave blankets should in theory allow us to incrementally build out from small modules (much smaller than spar platforms), while extending better to multiple units. While breakwaters may eventually be cheaper, and safer, and are certainly more comfortable (by providing a calm lagoon), they most likely will require a huge scale in order to work. Until we get to that scale, the humble wave blanket may be our best answer.

7 comments

  1. Jeff Chan 12:17 pm

    1. May be worth checking whether putting tires and/or plastic bottles in the water would violate environmental laws. 

    2. Also it would be useful to try to model and/or measure how much attenuation could be accomplished. 

    3. It would also be useful to have a model of wave energy versus depth.

  2. Carl Pålsson 1:00 am

    I seem to recall that they wrote about the environmental impact of tires on the page, and if I understand it is all good. Tires are made to spend a great deal of their time in the wet under great strain after all, so it would be strange if they oozed out a bunch of pollutants just by lying still in the water.

    Attenuation and the stability you would get on top of this is a good question. It seems difficult to build a foundation for a house, for instance, on a surface that moves with the waves. Perhaps the answer indeed is to use floating rigid tiles with flexible joints instead of having the entire thing flapping around. Perhaps tire-rubber an be used as aggregate in low-cost/density concrete.

    A world ocean map with average wave heights would be useful for these kinds of structures.

    By the way, even if the tires are free the ring-weave looks labor-intensive to me. Is there a machine for cutting the sidewalls off? I saw a Scrapheap episode where they made tank tracks of tractor tire, and they spent hours cutting the walls from just one tire…

  3. Jeff Chan 1:50 pm

    Tires ooze out petroleum when sitting in landfills, so I’d expect they do something similar in the water.

    The point about wave heights is that something floating on the surface may not affect wave energy a meter or two below the surface.  They may just ride up and down on the swells, which wouldn’t help much.

    The idea of using waste products is appealing, but tires may not be the best.

  4. Carl Pålsson 12:09 am

    The question is I guess, wheter the excreted amounts of petroleum is worth getting worked up about, given the size of the ocean. I’m guessing not, unless you ask the most rabid environmentalists.

    Good point about the wave depth. However, let’s say we have a very big blanket, like a couple of kilometers across. It seems plausible to me that the central regions would be calmer simply because the wind won’t be able to influence the water so much here.

    If the tires can’t be used as building material directly they can at least be made info energy for cement factories. :-)

  5. Jeff Chan 8:40 am

    Yes on all of Carl’s above.  Basically the tires revert back to oil.

    OTOH if you had square kilometers of these, they may give off a lot of oil.  Environmentalists get upset about one drop of oil.

  6. CiniX 2:49 pm

    Yes the center would be more stable just because kilometers of that stuff would dampen the kenetic energy of the waves. It would work just like the akito wave break. However, if it is too thin, the dampening will be reduced exponencially, thus causing larger swells with more energy to be able to roll under the entire structure, damaging and possibly destroying structures built on top.

    Rubber would break down faster than plastic. Your better bet might be to go for just 2 liter bottles in huge nets with flexing concrete and rebar plates on top. It would be best to get way more bottles/bottle containing devices(net or other) than you need so that you have the wave depth problem taken care of and you have extra boyancy for unexpected loads. You must always plan for the unexpected.

  7. capistor 2:04 am

    Taken from their website: "Depending on the relevant boundary conditions, the results of these studies differ. It is, however, certain that no damage due to scrap tyres was determined in open-air studies on aquatic biocoenoses. Quite the opposite: In the USA, the use of scrap tyres in bodies of water is actually recommended in order to improve the biocoenotic situation. In addition, no substances which may have accumulated from scrap tyres have been detected in biota up to present. The long-term durability of tyres in salt water has been verified via the recovery of a ship loaded with tyres, which has been resting on the sea bed off the Scottish coast for 40 years."

     

    Looks like the use of scrap tires would have a positive environmental image.

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