Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Put a Cork in It: Research Details Quiet Composite Material

22.06.2012
Cork, known for its use in such low-tech applications as wine bottle stoppers and bulletin boards, now shows promise as the core material in composite sandwich structures for use in high-tech automotive, aircraft and energy applications.

A research team at the University of Delaware is investigating this natural material as an environmentally friendly solution for quiet sandwich composites. They recently published a paper on the work in Scientific Reports, an online, open-access research publication from the publishers of Nature that covers all areas of the natural sciences.

“Cork is a natural product with intriguing properties,” says Jonghwan Suhr, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and an affiliated faculty member in the Center for Composite Materials.

“It’s energy absorbing, tough, lightweight and impact resistant, and it has excellent vibrational and acoustic damping properties. Its unique cellular arrangement also results in good thermal properties, and it’s impermeable to moisture.”

Suhr was adviser to the lead author on the paper, James Sargianis, who completed his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at UD in May. The third member of the team was Hyung-ick Kim, a postdoctoral researcher at CCM who is an expert in mechanical characterization of advanced materials.

Sargianis’s graduate research focused on exploring natural material-based sandwich composites with enhanced noise mitigation. Cork turned out to be one of the most promising alternatives to traditional sandwich structures.

Suhr explains that composite sandwich structures — typically made from synthetic foam cores or honeycomb materials bonded to carbon-epoxy face sheets — are commonly used in aerospace applications because they offer high bending stiffness and are very lightweight. However, he says, they are also good at radiating noise, which is not a desirable feature in an airplane. The current solution is to line the interior with four to six inches of glass fabric, but this increases weight and reduces space inside the cabin.

Enter cork as the new core for the sandwich.

In the recently reported study, the researchers compared sandwich structures made from a natural cork agglomerate core with those using a core made from a high-quality synthetic foam called Rohacell. Carbon-epoxy was used as the face sheet material with both cores.

“We achieved a 250 percent improvement in damping performance using the cork-based materials, with no sacrifice in mechanical properties,” Suhr says. “Further, cork radiates little to no noise and is inexpensive. It’s also sustainable and environmentally friendly because there are no carbon emissions associated with its production.”

Since the paper was published in May, the team has been approached by Portugal-based Amorim, a world leader in the production of thermal and acoustic insulation materials based on natural raw cork.

In an email to Suhr, a company representative referred to the article as “excellent” and wrote, “We are astonished and very well surprised with such detail on your study.” A group from Amorim plans to visit UD soon to learn more about the work.

Suhr sees the potential for application of cork-based sandwich structures in not only aircraft cabins but also car engine mounts, launch vehicle fairings, and wind turbine blades.

In the next phase of the project, the team will investigate the low-velocity impact of these materials.

Sargianis, who also earned his bachelor’s degree at UD, in 2010, has accepted a position with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) in Lakehurst, N.J. He took first-place honors at the 2012 SAMPE National Student Research Symposium in May for his work on natural material based-sandwich composites.

“It was great to work with James while he was here at UD,” Suhr says. “He knows what he’s doing, and he’s a great problem solver. I have no doubt that he will become a leader in science and technology.”

See the original story at
http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2012/jun/cork-sandwich-composites-061812.html

Andrea Boyle Tippett | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.udel.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Move over, Superman! NIST method sees through concrete to detect early-stage corrosion
27.04.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3-D printed plastic pieces
27.04.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>