Mechanical Engineering graduate student, Marieme Josephine Lette, won Outstanding Oral Presentation Award at 13th International Conference on Ecometrials 2017.

【Awardee】Marieme Josephine Lette (Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering and Science)

【Faculty supervisor】Prof. Akito Takasaki (Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics)

【Research theme or presentation title, etc. for which you received the award】
Physical and Mechanical Properties of Biomass/Phenolic resin Based Wood-Polymer Composites WPCs

【Comments about the achievement】
This research work aimed at investigating the possibility of developing sustainable green composites using biomass products such as oyster shell powder OS, sawdust SD and rice husks RH, as reinforcement for phenolic resin PR.

Sawdust filled phenolic resin WPC showed better mechanical properties compared to other filler types; but its water stability and thermal properties were lower. PR/RH WPCs also presented good mechanical properties. Furthermore, they have a relatively good thermal and water resistance properties. OS on the other hand has less affinity with PR due to its inorganic nature; therefore the PR/OS WPCs have low mechanical properties but still presented good water stability and excellent fire resistance due to the high content of calcium oxide in OS combined with the high thermal resistance of PR.

With a rapid growth of the population and urbanization rate in Africa, the African construction sector presents tremendous opportunities but is still threatened high construction cost mainly due to high cost materials and the lack of skilled labor. Considering the big gap between poor and rich in most African countries where the poverty rates are still high and agriculture contribute to more than 40% of the GDP, we expect that developing wood-polymer composites out of agricultural byproducts could not only sustain the agricultural and construction sectors but also boost the economic and industrial sectors in Africa as well, while contributing to job creation and building skilled human resources.


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