You can access a variable as you can access an array, if you were to echo:
$string = "test"; echo $string;
It would echo
t, and onwards.
You could concat the string and make a new variable like:
$v = "0904201600000123"; $date = $v.$v.'-'.$v.$v.'-'.$v.$v.$v.$v; echo $date;
I tested it on my local machine and it worked
Note: If you want to use the method using the
explode function as I saw you did earlier, you could use the
str_split function which will instead make the result an array.