Investigating The Potentials Of Sawdust And Coconut Fiber As Sound Reduction Materials

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ABSTRACT Noise reflectors, noise absorbers and noise barriers, are used for noise controlling purpose. This research conducted is to investigate local materials that may be used as sound reducing materials to offer solution to the existing environmental noise problem. Samples were developed using sawdust, coconut fiber, expansive clay and dry plantain leaves applying silicon and starch as binding agents. Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC), which is a ratio of the reduction levels of noise to the intensity of sound, was investigated by using an experimental setup including impedance tube, signal generator, sound level meter and a speaker. Experimental results indicated that, there is a better performance in the NRC of samples developed with particles less than 0.6 millimeters. NRC values obtained for Sawdust mixed with Expansive Clay ranged from 0.24 to 0.62 with the maximum value (0.62) occurring at 4.0 kHz frequency and that of Coconut Fiber mixed with Expansive Clay recorded NRC from 0.31 to 0.58 with the maximum value (0.58) occurring at 6.0 to 6.5 kHz frequency. It was found that, these materials have good acoustic properties and therefore can be used as an alternative to produce noise reduction materials. Utilization of these materials will also reduce environmental pollution and the effect of noise pollution on human health.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award degree of MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING