Optimization of epoxy-based coir fibre composites for roofing sheets in Ghana

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Contemporary roofing materials in Ghana such as aluminium and zinc are quite costly. Metal roofing sheets require large amounts of energy to manufacture which affects the sustainability of them. Also, coastal areas in Ghana that rely on metal roofing sheets are subjected to corrosion and loud noise during rains. Traditional roofing materials such as palm leaves and straws need periodic maintenance and are also labour intensive to install. Thus, a sustainable alternative to current roofing methods is needed in Ghana. In this project, coir fibre reinforced eposy composites were created as substitute roofing sheets. The coir fibres were first treated with sodium hydroxide solution. The fibres were cut into lengths while considering the critical fibre length. The coir fibres were mixed at different weight ratios with eposy-hardener matrix and allowed to fully cure. The samples were loaded with thermal cycles to mimic the effect of thermal degration induced by the sun. The mechanical properties were analysed as well. Thermal conductivity, corrosion studies, and sound absorption tests were also performed on the composites while varying the coir composition in the epoxy matrix.
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, May 2021
composite materials