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 New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
23.06.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
22.06.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

High conductive foils enabling large area lighting

29.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Designed proteins to treat muscular dystrophy

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Climate Fluctuations & Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics: An Interdisciplinary Dialog

29.06.2017 | Seminars Workshops

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>