Current day roofing tiles are exposed to various climate changes and other elements in nature. With these elements the roofing tiles do not reach the expected lifetime, and usually results in frequently replacing the tile. The basalt fiber team will create a roofing tile prototype using basalt fibers as the filler.Through last year's research it was proven that basalt fibers, compared to the common filler in asphalt tiles which is fiberglass, are more durable and cost efficient.With this research basalt fibers can prove to be successful alternative to fiberglass.
This year the basalt fiber team will be working with a company located outside of Marquette called Argonics. Argonics is one of the largest producers of polyurethane products in Michigan. Our team will work with Argonics to design a process to create a basalt fiber roofing tile prototype. Throughout the course of the year we will travel to their facilities and assist in the prototyping development, and operate their equipment to create usable prototypes. Apart from working with Argonics, our team itself will focus on designing tests to use on the prototyped tiles. Some of the tests will include a pull test and an impact test using the instron machine. Another test will be a water contact test using a goniometer to measure the wettability of the surface of the tile. We will use these tests to compare a control asphalt tile to our basalt fiber tile prototype .
Team Lead - Austin Suess
My name is Austin Suess and I am a third year Chemical Engineering student here at Michigan Technological University. I am currently the team lead for the basalt fiber team for the Consumer Products and Manufacturing Enterprise. Along with being a team lead I am also a member of the Alpha Society as well as being a member of the Omega Chi Epsilon Chemical Engineering Honors Society. I am from smalltown Pulaski, Wisconsin and graduated from Pulaski High School in 2016. Some of my hobbies include hunting, fishing, skiing, and playing Broomball.