|Cross section of cable
| 2 inch cable
| A completed wall structure with vertical straw columns & horizontal members from Jerusalem Artichoke. Also shown is a conduit to carry electrical wires and/or plumbing.
The StrawJet harvests straw from the field after the grain harvest and converts it to a building product adaptable for construction of standard homes for the U.S. market, simpler shelters for the developing world and rapidly assembled shelter for disaster relief.
Straw and many other field crops have a hollow stem or one filled with soft pith. They all can support considerable loads parallel to the axis of the straw but are quite weak when stressed in any other direction, (try this with a drinking straw). The basis behind StrawJet technology is to utilize this inherent strength of hollow straw.
The StrawJet harvests straw in the field before it has been crushed or damaged, orients the stems so they are all parallel, adds a clay based binding material, compresses the bundle and binds it into a continuous length of 2 inch cable using a polyester yarn. Once the clay has dried, the cable becomes a rigid cylinder.
Cables can be combined into a construction material in several ways. To meet the demand to reduce labor costs at the building site, a system is being developed to combine the cables into standard dimension building panels and into completed wall systems in the field.
The StrawJet technology was invented to fill the need for a structural insulating building material that could be manufactured at low cost from recycled material and is itself fully recyclable.
Ashland School of Environmental Technology
David Ward, President
5765 Colver Road
Talent OR 97540