A Moment of Science

Hit Me Like A Ton Of… Wool?

Scientists found a more eco-friendly way to make bricks -- with wool!

wool

Photo: shallowend (out of town) (flickr)

The fibers from the wool actually combine with the clay to make a stronger brick!

Scottish and Spanish scientists have developed a new kind of brick from the most unlikely of materials: clay, wool and seaweed extract.

Ba Ba Bricks

The fibers from the wool actually combine with the clay to make a stronger brick, that is also environmentally friendly! Scientific tests showed that these woolly bricks are about 37% stronger than other unfired bricks made from earth/clay alone.

The bricks use all non-toxic materials that are abundant and readily available for use. This means wool could be a smart economic choice as well.

Huff And Puff, These Won’t Blow Down

Why is a strong brick so important? It seems obvious, but let’s break it down:

A brick reinforced with wool will be much less likely to crack or deform, which happens to most unfired bricks over time. The problem is that although firing bricks will make them stronger, it also uses a lot more energy which increases cost. By using wool instead, manufacturers get the best of both worlds!

Maybe the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ wouldn’t have felt so tough if he was dealing with the ‘Three Little Sheep’!

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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