Carapace works with MTC to develop roof tile
Posted on 15 Apr 2020 and read 502 times
Discarded slate from abandoned Welsh quarries is being turned into revolutionary composite roof tiles, thanks to an entrepreneurial Cardiff-based start-up company, Innovate UK and experts from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry (www.the-mtc.org
Carapace Slate Ltd (www.carapaceslate.com
) has developed a ground-breaking snap-fit roof tile with the appearance of natural quarried slate, using the waste from North Wales’ industrial past; more than 700 million tonnes of waste slate is available, which makes it a ‘sustainable’ product.
The crushed slate waste is mixed with a resin to form a composite, lightweight and snap-fit tile that can replicate natural slate colourings to fit regional requirements.
The tiles will be digitally manufactured in a ‘factory in box’ — an autonomous and rapidly deployable digital manufacturing facility that can be put into a shipping container and remotely controlled from anywhere in the UK.
The product is attracting interest from major UK construction merchants, as well as a roof tile maker in the USA. In response to this level of interest, the company has teamed up with the experts at the MTC’s Business Launch Centre to help manufacture the product in high volume.
Carapace’s managing director, Martyn Lucas, says that the product addresses several issues facing the construction industry, including skills shortages, length of build time, cost and the challenges of ‘green’ construction.
“The Carapace tile interlocks on all sides, with no need for nails or clips. It is a fraction of the cost of high-quality slate but still looks fantastic in situ.
"It is made from waste material and can be broken down and reformed; and it can be manufactured on-site, removing transport costs and pollution.”