Recycled materials are finding their way into many more products used on construction sites as some in the industry adapt to provide environmentally sustainable options. One product is screed rails.
Concrete Floor Products, a U.K.-based firm that also serves the U.S. market, recently introduced a new screed rail that is made completely from recycled materials.
Mark Williams, a representative of the company, said making products from recycled materials can be more expensive than traditional products for the manufacturer.
“The environment we’re in right now, it’s a little more difficult to find materials,” Williams said.
He said that while the company is hoping to do the right thing environmentally, the decision to market a recyclable line of screed rails is also driven by hopes that the product will be profitable.
How recycled screed rails could prevent injuries
Other companies, like Carolina REP and Contech, have also entered the recycled screed-rail market, producing a system that is made of recycled uPVC. Companies that produce screed-rail systems with recycled plastics make similar claims about the product. They tout that these screed-rail systems can handle all types of power screeds and are more lightweight than traditional systems.
Williams said lighter screed-rail systems have the potential to result in fewer injuries that are associated with their placement.
Sustainability is driving factor behind international support
The comparatively lightweight nature of screed-rail systems made from recycled materials can also have a positive impact on making concrete construction more sustainable in the long run because they keep material out of landfills and oceans. In addition, they can reduce labor required for installation and other costs due to their light weight, manufacturers said. “So many aspects of construction come down to backbreaking labor,” Williams said. “You don’t need a crane; you can put it in place by hand.”
He said his industry will continue working on the costs associated with acquiring recycled plastics so the product can become a more viable option.
Williams thinks recycled screed rails are “just the right thing to do” but admitted that it has been harder to make inroads in the U.S. market.
“New Zealand, Canada, Australia really have gotten more behind it than the U.S. has,” he said.