Comparative Study Of Thermal Properties Of Some Common Roofing Materials In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Physics

Project and Seminar Material for Physics


Thermal properties refer to characteristics of a material defining the substance and related to temperature dependent. The most important thing in building design is the protection of people who live and work within the environment. The research work identified some common roofing materials used for building design in Nigeria..The samples include aluminium (coated), Zinc and stone coated. The investigation was done using Ohm‟s law and Frankz Weidman principle.

The thermal properties investigated were thermal conductivity, thermal absorptivity, thermal diffusivity, thermal resistivity and specific heat capacity. with the view of establishing their suitability as roofing materials in building design in Nigeria based on climate and weather condition of particular location. the results show that zinc has the highest thermal conductivity, thermal absorptivity, and specific heat capacity and also the lowest thermal diffusivity and thermal resistivity while stone coated material has the least thermal conductivity, absorptivity, and specific heat capacity and also the highest rate of thermal diffusivity, and thermal resistivity Aluminum coated is within the range of both sample, with thermal conductivity, thermal absorptivity, thermal diffusivity, thermal resistivity and specific heat capacity. Thus stone coated material may be recommended for roofing of building where the temperature is high and zinc may be recommended for roofing of buildings where temperature is low. For normal temperature range, Aluminium material may be recommended.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table Of Contents
  • List Of Tables
  • List Of Figures
  • Abstract xii

Chapter One:


  • 1.1. Background of the study
  • 1.2 Aim and objectives
  • 1.3 Significance of the study
  • 1.4 Scope and limitation of the study
  • 1.5 Definition of terms

Chapter Two:

Review Of Related Literature

  • 2.1. Thermal Properties of Roofing Material
  • 2.2. Thermal Conductivity
  • 2.3. Method of Measuring Thermal Conductivity
  • 2.3.1 Steady‐State Method
  • 2.3.2 Axial Flow Methods
  • 2.3.3 Guarded Hot Pla.. bte Method
  • 2.3.4 Direct Heating Method
  • 2.3.5 Comparative Method
  • 2.3.6 Heat‐Flow Meters Method
  • 2.3.7 System Design Method
  • 2.3.8 Advantages of the Steady‐State Methods to Other Methods
  • 2.3.9 Disadvantages of the Steady‐State Methods to Other Methods
  • 2.3.10 Determination of Thermal Conductivity in Steady State
  • 2.3.11 Non steady state or Transient Method
  • 2.3.12 Laser Flash Method
  • 2.3.13 Hot‐Disk Method
  • 2.4 Thermal Resistivity (R)
  • 2.5 Thermal Conductance(C)
  • 2.6 Thermal Diffusivity
  • 2.7 Thermal Absorptivity
  • 2.8 Specific Heat Capacity
  • 2.9 Relationship between Thermal Conductivity Thermal Diffusivity, Density and Specific Heat Capacity
  • 2.10 Heat Transfer
  • 2.10.1 Conduction
  • 2.10.2 Convection
  • 2.10.3 Radiation
  • 2.11 Heat Transfer through A Roof
  • 2.12 Thermal Radiation
  • 2.13 Solar Radiation
  • 2.14 Solar Absorption
  • 2.15 Roof Colour
  • 2.16 Review of Previous Work

Chapter Three:

Materials And Methods

  • 3.1 Materials
  • 3.2 Sample preparation
  • 3.3 Methods
  • 3.4 Circuit Diagram
  • 3.5 Experimental Procedure for Electrical Conductivity
  • 3.6 Experimental Procedure for Specific Heat Capacity
  • 3.7 Experimental Procedure for Density

Chapter Four:

Result And Discussion

  • 4.1 Result of sample dimensions and mass measurement
  • 4.2 Computation of Cross Sectional Area of the Sample
  • 4.3 Density of Each Sample
  • 4.4 Experimental Results of Resistance, Electrical Resistivity and Electrical Conductivity
  • 4.5 Results of thermal properties of the sample
  • 4.6 Graphical Analysis of Result

Chapter Five:

Summary Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

List Of Tables

Table Page

  • 4.1 Sample dimension and Mass
  • 4.2 Cross sectional area of each sample
  • 4.3 Density of each sample
  • 4.4 Experimental results of resistance, electrical resistivity and electrical conductivity
  • 4.5 Statistics of thermal properties of different roofing samples

List Of Figures

Figure Page

  • 2.1 simple model of 1-D heat flow
  • 2.2 illustration of heat transfer with three process
  • 2.3 images showing the path taken by the incident radiation
  • 2.4 sun – earth geometric relationship
  • 3.0 simplified circuit diagram of electrical resistivity apparatus
  • 4.1 Resistance graph for zinc
  • 4.2 Resistance graph for Aluminium coated
  • 4.3 Resistance graph for stone coated
  • 4.4 Resistivity graph of each sample
  • 4.5 Graph of thermal conductivity against sample
  • 4.6 Graph of thermal absorptivity against sample
  • 4.7 Graph of thermal diffusivity against sample
  • 4.8 Graph of specific heat capacity against sample
  • 4.9 Bar chart of thermal properties of roofing materials

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Provision of housing among other social amenities occupies a strategic position in most development plans for developing Nations such as Nigeria (Chukwucha, and Owate, 2002). One of the fundamental requirements of buildings is the protection of the people who live and work within them from hash weather. Thus, objective of environmental building design is the creation of a comfortable yet efficient internal environment (Camilleri, 2000).
The design of the building envelope is crucial towards attaining an optimal configuration, which responds effectively to environmental changes in order to reduce their impact. The understanding of energy related characteristics and the evaluation of the relevant properties of the building envelope is an integral part of every environmental assessment. Solar energy affects significantly, the interior environment and the energy requirements of buildings. (Lattimer & Ouelletes 2006).

However, one way to reduce the heat flux is the use of radiant barriers which reduce the heat flux through radiation. Most building materials particularly, roofing materials are good conductor of heat. Materials like metal and tile are commonly used in the form of sheet metal for roofing in building construction.

The knowledge of thermal properties of different roofing material is very important in the choice of the type of material to be used in the construction of a self- cooling or passively cooled building design. (Etuk, et al., 2008 & Michael, et al., 2008)

However, roofing systems used in the formal and residential sector are predominantly timber or metal truss systems with tile or profiled steel roofing, generally these roofing systems will be complimented with a plasterboard ceiling, regulations which require that these roof assemblies are insulated.

Therefore, thermal insulation is applied above the ceiling to achieve the thermal resistance requirements. The requisite thermal resistance can be achieved by adding additional layers of fibrous loft insulation or with reflective foil layers to create air-spaces or by making use of thermally insulating board products.(Safintra roofing and steel South Africa, 2016).

In the recent observation, it has shown that roofing materials used in building design doesn’t take sufficient account of climate and environmental factors in the design, most especially with the regards to the choice of roofing materials to be used. These situations would increase the energy consumption for heating and cooling in buildings and affects comfort, health and efficiency. Therefore, it is important to carry out adequate research on thermal properties of these roofing materials.

1.2 Aim and Objectives

The aim of this research is to measure and compare the thermal properties of some common roofing
materials in building design in Nigeria.

The Objectives are;

  1. To identify common roofing material used for buildings in Nigeria
  2. To measure and compare specific heat capacity of these materials
  3. To measure and compare thermal conductivity as well as to evaluate thermal resistivity of the materials
  4. To measure and compare thermal diffusivity of material
  5. To measure and compare thermal absorptivity of material

1.3 Significance of the study

The result of this research would enable the builder in Nigeria, to choose the best roofing materials for the residential and industries construction that will prevent any outbreak.

1.4 Scope of the study

This research work focuses on identifying the common roofing material in Nigeria for building design. The thermal properties of these roofing materials will then be study comparatively by measuring conductivity, resistivity, absorptivity, diffusivity and specific heat capacity of the roofing material. The measurement will be carry out in the laboratory for necessary computations, at the end of the experiment the result will be show graphically.

1.5 Definition of Terms


Is measure the degree of hotness or coldness expressed in terms of any several arbitrary scales and indicating the direction in which energy will spontaneously flow, i.e. from higher body to lower body .Thermometer is an instrument use to measure the temperature of a system.

Heat (Q):

Is the transfer of energy between two objects due to temperature differences. Without external agent doing work, heat will flow a hotter to a cooler object. Two objects of different temperature always interact. Heat can be flow in three different ways from one object to another through conduction, convection and radiation.
Heat flux: is the rate of heat energy transfer through a given surface per unit time.

Thermal Properties:

Any characteristic of a material defining the substance and related to temperature; e.g. thermal conductivity is said to be a thermal property, but electrical conductivity is not.


Is the state of the atmosphere to the degree of hot or cold, wet or dry calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Weather is driven by air pressure, temperature and moisture difference between one place and another.


Is the average weather pattern usually taken over a 30 –year’s period a particular region and time.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion, And Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this research work, thermal properties of three different roofing materials were compared in Nigeria. With the combination of Ohms law and Franz Weidman principle were used to obtained the electrical resistance, alongside with the measured dimensions, the parameter were used to compute the electrical resistivity and electrical conductivity of the sample. With temperature variation and theoretical Lorenz number, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, Thermal absorptivity, thermal resistivity and specific heat capacity were computed and compared accordingly. The results obtained show that stone coated steel has a good thermal comfort because it has the lowest thermal conductivity and lowest thermal absorptivity. Therefore it conduct less heat and absorb less heat, while zinc has high thermal conductivity and absorptivity, therefore the rate of heat conduction is very high and also absorb heat at a very high rate .

5.2 Conclusion

At the end of this research the results obtained has shown that material selection for roofing in building design has contribute immensely to the thermal comfort of occupant in building design.

In view of this, weather and climate of the particular location has to put into consideration. In a location where temperature is low zinc galvanized is the best roofing material because it conducts more heat and absorbs more heat than the aluminum coated and stone coated material.

In a location where temperature is high stone coated steel is the best roofing material in this location for good thermal comfort .For location with normal temperature, Aluminium coated is the best roofing material in that location.

5.3 Recommendation

Base on the results of comparative study of thermal properties some of roofing materials, the following recommendations are made for the builders in Nigeria:

  1. Builders in Nigeria should put climate and weather of particular location into consideration before choosing roofing materials to avoid thermal discomfort.
  2. Builders in Nigeria should go for the best roofing materials suitable for their location, without considering the cost implication for thermal comfort.
  3. Department of physics should provide adequate equipment for measuring thermal properties of solid material and make it accessible to students to make their research easier.

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