Cork Insulation for Biocomposite Panels
The use of cork insulation for biocomposite sandwich panels
Cork materials offer excellent acoustic performance (noise impact and air born sound), thermal comfort, waterproofing and anti-vibration solutions.
Some of the expected uses of cork for the OSIRYS project are the improved fire, fungi and acoustic properties. Fire tests are ongoing and still need additional work, but the behaviour of the material when incorporated into a sandwich panel is quite favourable. The air which fills the cells in the cork makes it an excellent thermal insulator. The same protective principle can also be found in other natural products, such as wool and feathers, and in industry, such as double glazed windows, for example. However, none of these materials have such a high level of insulation as cork. One important assumption was made regarding fire resistance: the use of non-halogenated fire retardants. The approach for the fire retardant properties will be the bulk incorporation of additives and coatings able to protect cork materials if they are the visual material.
Fungi evaluation was already made for one of the materials under test and the results were excellent. No additives were necessary in order to achieve the demanding requirements of international standards.
The acoustic properties of cork are known but need to be evaluated on building envelopes and/or partitions. The definition of the type of agglomerate cork to be used on the different partitions is fundamental to have the correct perception of the acoustic properties. Depending on the density and thickness of the chosen agglomerate, different acoustic behaviour might be achieved.