PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology


Core-filled Biocomposite Panels for Energy Efficient Housing

University of Missouri-Rolla

* K. Chandrashekhara, Principal Investigator
* William Showalter, Co-Principal Investigator

Start: January 1, 2006
Expires: December 31, 2008


The goal of the proposed research is to use bio-based composites for panelized housing construction, which will improve durability, energy efficiency, structural performance, fire resistance and affordability of houses. The research will focus on the application of renewable materials to develop core-filled multifunctional composite panels for housing. The following primary tasks will be investigated:

High-performance panels will be manufactured using an innovative integral core-filled pultrusion process. Soy resin, soy foam and natural fibers will be used as raw materials and will provide better impact resistance and insulation. Glass fibers will be used for outer layer to provide additional stiffness and strength. Nano-silica recovered from rice hull will be added during the pultrusion process to enhance the fire resistance capability of these new materials. The core-filled panels will be tested under different loading and environmental conditions. Experimental results will be compared with finite element solutions.

The use of plant-derived materials coupled with process development will offer affordable and durable products. An interdisciplinary faculty team has been formed with backgrounds in materials, composite manufacturing, structural engineering and construction to conduct the proposed research. The multidisciplinary nature of the research will provide a unique learning opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students in an interesting and expanding field. The development and implementation of foam-core filled composite panels will improve the safety and durability of houses.

For additional details on this NSF award.

Content updated on 9/26/2006

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