Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Plastic Bridges

PostedNovember 27, 2005

Download File (mp3)

Could a bridge be made from the plastics you threw away after lunch?  Your water bottle is pretty tough, but it bends.  And while your disposable fork is stiff, it's brittle. But Tom Nosker, a Rutgers University engineer, has figured out a way to combine those two types of plastic, and the resulting material has already been made into a bridge trucks use every day.  Nosker thinks there's no limit to the size of a bridge that could be made from this lightweight, but obviously strong, recycled plastic.  He says it's relatively inexpensive, easy to build with, durable, and virtually maintenance-free.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.