PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

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An Advanced All Natural Composite Roof for Residential Construction

University of Delaware

* Harry W. Shenton, III, Principal Investigator
* Richard P. Wool, Co-Principal Investigator

Start: October 1, 2001
Expires: September 30, 2004


The objective of the proposed research is to develop a monolithic, all-natural composite roof system for residential construction. The roof will be fabricated from novel composite materials made from soybean oil resins and natural fibers. The composite resins are derived from soy beans, a seasonal crop that is already grown in large quantities in the U.S.; the natural fibers to be used are derived from seasonal crops grown specifically for the fiber or are byproducts and waste of other crops. The roof will be designed to carry all of the loads a conventional roof is designed for, have an integral weather protection surface, and offer intrinsic insulation. The specific objectives of the proposed project are to:

Organized through the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials, the interdisciplinary effort brings together expertise in chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, and civil engineering. The research plan is organized into two primary thrusts: (1) materials research and (2) structural design and testing.

The materials research thrust will comprise: tailoring of all-natural resins for the composite roof system; tailoring of composites for the roof system; and aging, durability, and development of a weather protection surface. The structural design and testing thrust will address: preliminary designs, analysis, and testing of small components, and analysis and testing of large roof components. The all-natural composite roof system combines a number of unique features that together will achieve the four PATH goals and bring about a significant advance in residential construction.

To view additional details on this NSF award, click here.

Content updated on 9/21/2005

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