WaterBrick Container Does Double Duty as a Shelter

WaterBrick, a patented high-density polyethylene container capable of delivering water, food, fuel or medical supplies to disaster zones or developing countries, also can serve as a durable shelter, according to March 10 press release. The product was recently profiled at an Akron, Ohio meeting of The Society of Plastics Engineers.

Once emptied, the interlocking "bricks" can be used to build housing, schools, medical facilities, or defense positions. The material was designed to be palletized and air-dropped anywhere around the world.

"One of our biggest challenges in developing the WaterBrick was determining the perfect specifications for size, weight, durability and, most importantly, material," explained Wendell Adams, WaterBrick founder and inventor. "We challenged the team at FPM Tooling & Automation to help us finalize the design and choose the most appropriate type of plastic to meet the high standards we set."

"WaterBrick is one of the most innovative uses of plastic I have ever seen," said Daryle Damschroder, FPM North American consultant and SPE blow-molding division director. "It’s a brilliant product offering one simple solution for people in need of food, water, and shelter. FPM was hired to review the original design and determine if it was viable for blow molding and what material would be best to satisfy the specifications for this inventive multi-use product."

FPM recommended HDPE with a high content of UV stabilizers to protect the contents from extreme sunlight. This material will not weaken under harsh conditions and can handle a wide range of temperature extremes from -40° F to well above 100° F climates.

"Imagine the difference it would have made if WaterBrick had been available following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita," Damschroder said.