Exploring the Use of Cork Based Composites for Aerospace Applications
Aerospace components are characterized by having high strength to weight ratios in order to obtain lightweight structures. Recently, different types of sandwich components using composite materials have been developed with the purpose of combining the effect of reinforced face-sheets with low weight core materials, such as honeycombs and foams. However, these materials must combine damage tolerance characteristics with high resistance under both static and dynamic loads. Cork composites can be considered as an alternative material for sandwich components since cork is a natural material with some remarkable properties, such as high damage tolerance to impact loads, good thermal and acoustic insulation capacities and excellent damping characteristics for the suppression of vibrations. The experiments carried out in this investigation were oriented in order to optimize the specific strength of cork based composites for sandwich components. Static bending tests were performed in order to characterize the mechanical strength of different types of cork agglomerates which were obtained considering distinct production variables. The ability to withstand dynamic loads was also evaluated from a set of impact tests using carbon-cork sandwich specimens. The results from experimental tests showed that cork agglomerates performance depends on the cork granulate size, the type of reinforcing elements and the bonding procedure used for the cohesion with the matrix material.
Luís Guerra ROSA and Fernanda MARGARIDO
J. M. Silva et al., "Exploring the Use of Cork Based Composites for Aerospace Applications", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 636-637, pp. 260-265, 2010