Close

September 9, 2009

Ring-Weave: Recycle Tires Into Territory

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://www.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.