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Tires,Cardboard,Pallets And Bottles, as Windows, Stepping Stones,Buiding Blocks, Fencing

Posts: 3206
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
forest garden trees urban
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Here is my  idea.
Anything you might infill a wall  with could be used to infill a  tire.
By pitting the compressive strength of the materials against the tensile strength of the tire,we form a composit that is better than either on their own.
Removing both sidewalls will make this possible
Because these items already exist as waste, we don't spend resources creating compressive strength as wewould if we were packing dirt into tires.

So, cut the sidewalls off a tire.
Now you have a ring of tread.
Stuff it full of bottles till tight,then chink the spaces in between them with chunks of sidewall, mortar,soilcrete or adobe.
If you use mortar, maybe you could knock the necks of with a hammer.  
Or you might have a tread ring as deep as the bottles are tall. You could push bottles in from the other side,into the spaces, or fill in the space with with chinking materials.
Or two rings could be joined, side by side, the insides filled with bottles.
However you form your window, if it's sturdy enough to step on, you might be able to lay it over a hole or trench,  creating a sun warmed space.
Tread rings could shore up the sides.
Plants like figs could be planted at the bottom, hibernate under glass, and be free to start growing out in the spring.
Or this could be a cold frame you could walk on, or a wormery.
Square shaped bottles would make creating a gap free window block easier.

Tread rings can be cut to create a strip of tread, 75 inches wouldn't be unusually long.
This has been  affixed to posts horizontally as fencing.
It has been layered and nailed together to create "logs"
It would make durable siding/roofing.
Layered together we might be able to create a portable roadway for vehicles to drive on, over grass, mud, snow,ice or debris.

Card board could fill the space inside a tire ring.
Strips the same width as the tread ring, could be coiled inside, or disks the same diameter as the ring stacked up.
Alternate with cement, soil, soil cement,  borax, what ever, for a very light and  insulative building block.

A key point, the tread ring can conform to any shape that matches its circumference.
This means we could take tires of different sizes and create rectangular solids that match in at least one dimension.
A wall could have be made of tread blocks that all have the same thickness,even if they vary in height or length.
This saves work and materials that might be used in smoothing out  the wall.
It might save time from sorting tires by size.

A jig, consisting of a box with no top,  and without one side, could speed the process of filling up the tread rings.

Spray foam could fill spaces quickly, easily and tightly, but would add expense and be less green.

A  24.82" diameter tire should produce a tread ring 78" in circumference.
You could have a 4" x 35" beam or a 24" x 15"" block.

As I wrote, it occurred to me that pallet wood might work as well.
Even the shortest peices could be used as filler.

Right now a tread ring based block seems like a good way for me "pave" a section of yarden, so that is what I'm going to focus on.

Staking tread walls where I want them to be, then adding fillers and soilcrete is my current plan.
Because I need to drive over them, I will focus on wood and avoid paper and glass.
If I like the way it works, I might pursue using more tread rings but I'll need to see before committing to bring in more tires.


Posts: 3588
Location: Toronto, Ontario
hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi trees rabbit urban wofati cooking bee homestead
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Hi William.

Now you probably know what my typical response is to using tires in the environment, so take it as stated. I haven't changed my mind with regards to tires and food production. However...

Used tires with the sidewalls cut off, then somehow connected to make a large mat would definitely work to retain fill in the case of a roadway or driveway, even if you basically made a used-tire honeycomb path that you recessed about the width of the adulterated tires and then filled with gravel and sand.

I think that if you filled some, or all, with inoculated woodchips, you might end up with a very practical short- to medium-term solution for paths and roadways that, because of encouraged fungal populations, end with a strain of mushrooms that thrive on the degrading rubber.

I think I would prefer this use to one where the tires are aboveground, personally. Also, glass bottles will probably shatter, wrecking all of your effort, should you try to knock off the necks with a hammer without scoring them, and perhaps even then. In the case of glass bottle tire fill, I would try having two courses of bottles per tire, such that the bottom course is necks-up and the top course fits necks-down into them.

I was thinking about using broken bottle glass as fill, and if you had a cement mixer and some coarse sand, you could break and tumble bottle glass as a translucent pebble fill for the spaces between, or even for a pourable translucent fill atop a bottom course of bottles.

Imagine a skylight made of a bottom course of bottles fit and chinked tightly into a tire, filled with a solution of water and, I don't know, vinegar or something else that would inhibit algal growth, and then filled with a tumbled glass fill. Imagine that tire-and-glass skylight installed into a WOFATI, sunken into the roof so that soil and grass cover over the tire entirely, so all you see is a pile of tumbled glass from the top.

I also wonder if such a tire-mat honeycomb could be used between two moisture barriers to form the dry-fill earth umbrella of the WOFATI. A honeycomb structure of wall-less tires might make a WOFATI much more structurally sound, especially in quake-prone areas. Plus, it would enable one to safely design holes down through the WOFATI for added ventilation and light. Care would still need to be taken when sealing around the holes in the moisture membranes, but I think it would be much more forgivable, structurally.

I also think that cutting off the sidewalls is a great idea if you're going to pack tires, and I don't think I've mentioned that yet, so kudos. I think a giant cookie cutter would be the best way, probably something easy enough to move with one person (rolling on its side) with a blade on the bottom that is positioned atop the tire to be cut. There would be a platform on top, where the operator would jump, and that would cut the sidewall.

Despite my reservations, I think the best place to use tires in this fashion is woven together as a geotextile mat for high-traffic areas, and in earth building where cement-style forms won't work (and where there's a glut of tires). If you chop out the tire walls and ram earth in layers into successive courses of tires, the rammed material essentially forms into a monolithic piece within the tire honeycomb, acting as rubber-coated rebar. If this was sealed within a waterproof natural plaster that could be reapplied at need, I would feel quite happy with the result, I think, both structurally, and from a health standpoint.

I could even see this used for reinforced earthdams, though I would want to use something like pond liner overtop of an earth plaster coating to keep the compacted fill from washing away over time.

As there exist so many of these things, I think responsible reuse might be an important piece of the whole remediation puzzle. I think encapsulation is probably the safest option for use in the immediate term, but I think that, if used in non-sensitive areas as interfaces to the environment, and even encouraged to act as soil life bioreactors by the addition of woodchips, compost extracts and fungal slurries, we may end up, over time, fostering the development of organisms evolved to clean up contamination because they have evolved to find it tasty.

And as I think about it, I wonder if, with the right mineral-based plaster and compatible lichens and mosses, some encapsulation strategy could be devised that would leave rammed-tire fences looking either stone-like or lichen-covered.

Posts: 3054
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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I like the idea of using tires as horizontal fencing. I had not heard of that use before.

It could be used to connect a pallet fence together.  Flexing enough to zig zag it with no posts.
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