The abundance of styrofoam waste have become an inspiration to a group of Diponegoro University students to create innovative works by utilizing the unused waste. The five students are Yunnia Rahmandanni; Latifa Nida; Nurul Hidayah (Faculty of Science and Mathematics); Ibadurrahman (Faculty of Engineering) and Rifqi Rudwi (Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences), who joined in a group guided by Moh Nur Sholeh, a young lecturer of Undip Vocational School, and won a gold medal in the International Trade Fair of Ideas competition, Inventions and New Products (The iENA) held by international institution AFAG, in Nuremberg, Germany, on November 2018. This event was attended by 800 young researchers from 30 countries. There were 2 Indonesian teams; one of them is Undip team who won the gold medal for eco-friendly innovation of styrofoam-waste-based roof tile.

Making process of the styrofoam-based roof tile is actually same as other tiles, which uses materials of cement and sand. However, the difference is by adding styrofoam, that is previously crushed into small grains to easily blend with cement and sand. “The idea of this new product innovation was inspired by our anxiety to see a lot of styrofoam waste. And we know that styrofoam is not eco-friendly because it does not decompose by nature. Therefore, it inspired us to make a product by utilizing the styrofoam waste, because the cost is cheap for us as students,” said Yunnia, Team Leader who is also a 7th semester student of the Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Undip.

The making of the styrofoam-based roof tiles have been carried out through science-based processing and are designed to have resistance to shocks as they are lighter in weight and higher in resilience than concrete roof tiles. The average pressure (Fc) of 1.59 MPa,  modulus of elasticity (Ec) of 496 MPa, and modulus of ruture of 0.6282 MPa, and average weight of 760 kg/m3.  “The addition of styrofoam is carried out with certain compositions, to produce so relatively light and optimal resilience tiles, that can minimize casualties due to roof damage in earthquake, ” said Muh Nur Sholeh, supervisor, who is also a lecturer of Mechanical Engineering for Earthquake Resistant Structure, at Vocational School, Undip.

This eco-friendly roof tile can absorb styrofoam waste as much as 5 kg/m2 tiles. We assume if a house needs 40 m2 tiles, so the innovated tiles can absorb 200 kg styrofoam waste for a house roof tiles.(ND/PR)