Studio Newtab-22 used shells from the food industry to develop a sustainable terrazzo-like material with concrete characteristics.
Named Sea Stone (eng: sea stone), this sustainable material is made by grinding shells, which would end up in a landfill or on the shores, and adding natural, non-toxic binders. This gives the sea stone an aesthetic similar to a terrazzo.
Sea Stone could become a sustainable alternative to concrete in product design, because these two materials have similar properties. This is because shells are rich in calcium carbonate, otherwise known as limestone, which is used to produce cement – a key ingredient in concrete.
Seven million tons of shellfish are disposed of every year, and most of this waste ends up in landfills or on the shores.
Sea Stone has evolved from the ambition of the Newtab-22 studio to help alleviate the waste problem in the seafood industry it discards seven million tons of shellfish each year. Most of this waste ends up in landfills or on shores.
“Although some shellfish are recycled and used as fertilizer, most are dumped in landfills or along the coast,” Newtab-22 told The seas.
“Discarded shells, which are uncleaned or spoiled, have been piling up near the shores for a long time, causing unpleasant odors and, in the long run, polluting the surrounding land,” say the designers from the studio.
“We suggest that discarded shells be used to make environmentally and economically sustainable material, instead of contributing to the accumulation of garbage.”
Grinding and adding additives
The process of making Sea Stone involves grinding shells and mixing them with natural binders. They are then added to the mold and allowed to harden into concrete-like pieces.
This method is currently running manually to ensure that the process is as sustainable and accessible as possible. They are the result of all this variations in sizes, textures, and colors, which means that each piece of sea stone is unique. Differences can also occur by changing the amount of shells and binders or by adding colors.
Not a real alternative
The material is currently being developed for commercial purposes and has so far been used to make products such as decorative tiles, tables, pedestals and vases.
Of course, it will never be available as an alternative to concrete for large or structural projects. Although the properties of concrete and sea stone are similar, in order to really get the compressive strength as with classic concrete, it would be necessary energy intensive baking process. This would then be comparable to the method used to produce cement, which accounts for half of all CO2 emissions from the use of concrete, and is therefore not sustainable.
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Source: Gradnja by www.gradnja.rs.
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