Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spinning straw into shelter

Be sure to take a look at the video of this amazing invention.


StrawJet Technology is a means for using fibrous cellulose material available from agricultural by-products such as straw or many other post-harvest fiber sources, to produce building construction materials.

The fiber cable is a continuous "rope" or "braid" of agricultural waste fiber such as wheat straw, rice straw, or other widely available fiber sources, bundled into a two inch diameter cable. The cable is held tightly together by a wrapping of very high strength synthetic filaments.

It is the ejection of this cable from the rear of the cable engine that gives StrawJet its name.

The "cable" is then fed into either of two material manufacturing processes where it is cut to appropriate lengths and cast into structural members, i.e., posts and beams, or it is cast into building panels which can be very large or very many as required.

The extremely wide variety of agricultural waste fiber sources that can be used for StrawJet cables and the simplicity and flexibility of the casting formula make it easy to make building materials nearly worldwide. The farmer has the opportunity to produce a "second crop" of building materials every year and builders obtain construction components close enough to almost any building site to minimize transportation costs.

The technology is extremely scalable, from a single braid stationary machine to which fiber material (straw) is transported up to large scale combine harvesting equipment producing wide ribbons of parallel cables. Fiber sources range from rice, wheat, or other grain straw to flax to Jerusalem Artichoke. Casting material is similarly available nearly worldwide and is dirt cheap.

The construction materials are virtually fireproof, have excellent thermal insulation properties, and thanks to the high modulus of elasticity achieved using the straw cable for structural strength, are exceptionally earthquake tolerant. The entire manufacturing process is environmentally responsible and highly sustainable. The structural strength of the material is derived from a resource that unlike trees, is renewed annually.