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Stellenbosch University (2020)

THE FEASIBILITY OF WOOD PLASTIC COMPOSITES AS BUILDING MATERIAL FOR RDP HOUSES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Dlamini, Tenele Unity

Titre : THE FEASIBILITY OF WOOD PLASTIC COMPOSITES AS BUILDING MATERIAL FOR RDP HOUSES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Auteur : Dlamini, Tenele Unity

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2020

Résumé
The South African Government is faced with numerous environmental, economic and social challenges. Invasive alien plants (IAPs) are environmental threats, which change the ecosystems they invade. The Working for Water (WfW) Programme is a pioneering environmental initiative working under the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), which aims to eradicate IAPs. The value-added industry (VAI) launched under the WfW Programme aims to use these cleared IAPs for economic benefits. Plastic pollution is another global and national environmental issue caused by increasing population and industrialization. Numerous organizations have created awareness pertaining to this issue and the importance and benefits of recycling plastic waste. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of producing wood plastic composites (WPCs) as a building material made from woody IAPs and recycled plastic for low cost buildings through a hypothetical small business initiative. WPCs can be deemed as green products since they use recycled material, renewable resources and minimize the impact they have on the environment. Small business development is being encouraged to address the national unemployment rate. A feasibility study was conducted to assess the success of a proposed small WPC business. The feasibility study assumed that the project would take place in the Western Cape and Acacia saligna sourced along the Berg River and recycled LLDPE plastic from Bellville would be used for production. A survey was conducted in the Kayamandi Township to study the living conditions of people living in the RDP houses and observe any infrastructural defects. This would help identify a potential building structure replacement made from WPC material. Based on the survey results, 14% of the respondents complained about defective ceiling boards thus, a potential building component was recognized. Another part of the study was to determine the economic and financial perspective of manufacturing WPC ceiling boards, whereby the procurement costs of the raw material including the harvesting, purchasing and transport of these raw materials was considered. Two WPC ceiling boards with different dimensions were proposed. Type A being 1 m2, with a thickness of 0.004 m (research prototype) and Type B with dimensions 3 m x 1.2 m x 0.004 m (commercial competitor) were proposed. Both options were found to be profitable for a small business initiative. The sample boards used for testing mechanical and physical properties exceeded the benchmark values of gypsum ceiling boards in all analysed properties. The results showed that Type B boards could potentially replace the currently used gypsum ceiling boards of the same dimensions. In addition, the budgeted statement of profit or loss and comprehensive income showed a higher net profit after tax when compared to Type A boards. The mark-up percentages on cost of goods sold ensured that the selling prices per unit exceeded break-even prices resulting to selling prices (SP) of R90.16 and R120.76 for Type A boards and Type B boards per unit, respectively. This would allow the business to generate some profit. The net-present value (NPV) for the two board type investments were positive, however as a rule of thumb, the investment having the highest NPV value should be pursued. Therefore, the Type B boards would be recommended as a product to be sold in the small business. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to determine the effects of different input scenarios on the forecast break-even points. A change in selling price is highly sensitive as that determines the contribution margin of the business.

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Page publiée le 22 juin 2022