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An Alternative Procedure to Recycling Plastic Waste for Basement Underground Thermal Insulation in Cold Climate Buildings

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Recycled plastic waste materials can be used as an alternative to traditional insulation materials. Experimental and numerical studies were carried out to quantify the heat loss of 13 different basement configurations using this new insulation approach. The objective of this study was to make use of the specific products found in the typical plastic waste discarded by public and private centers, such as hospitals, industry, and residential households. Emphasis has been placed on polyethylene waste used for packing material. Two transient methods were used to measure thermal characteristics such as conductivity, diffusivity and volumetric heat capacity of the new material composed from the plastic waste (now intended to be used as a basement thermal insulator). The thermal properties were used as input data for a comprehensive computational analysis program to determine a building's heat loss through its basement. For all 13 case studies, the quantitative values of the heat loss through the basement demonstrate that this new plastic material can be considered as a potential building insulation material.
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Keywords: Basement; Energy Conservation and Heat Loss; Insulation; Recycling; Thermal Comfort; Waste

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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