American Society of Civil Engineers

Development of a Roofing Material from Polyethylene through the Use of Additives

by Bolaji Aremo, (corresponding author), (Res. Asst., Ctr. for Energy Res. and Development (CERD), Obafemi Awolowo Univ., Ile-Ife, Osun State 220005, Nigeria E-mail: and Mosobalaje O. Adeoye, Ph.D., (Lectuer, Dept. of Material Sci. and Engrg., Obafemi Awolowo Univ., Ile-Ife, Osun State 220005, Nigeria. E-mail:

Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Vol. 20, No. 8, August 2008, pp. 516-520, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This research investigated the enhancement of polyethylene properties through the use of additives to make it suitable as a roofing material. To function as a roofing material, weatherability (resistance to photo-oxidation), low flammability, and good strength were identified as the key requirements that must be met by the polymer. The additives: carbon black, clay, and ammonium chloride were compounded with the polyethylene. Carbon black was used to protect against photo-oxidation; ammonium chloride was used as a flame retardant, and clay served as a flame retardant while also imparting hardness. ASTM D638-46T tensile test pieces were used to determine the strength of the mixtures, the horizontal UL 94 incipient regime flame test was used to determine flammability, and a simulated weathering test was developed to evaluate weatherability. Results indicated that at about 8.96% clay and 17.42% ammonium chloride, the polyethylene matrix has an average strength of 3.04±0.42 MPa. The horizontal UL 94 fire test showed a marked improvement of flammability properties over that observed for virgin polyethylene. The simulated weathering test also showed an improvement in weatherability properties in polyethylene containing the additives.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Ultraviolet radiation
Construction materials