A new insulation board composed of residual and waste materials such as cork and corncobs, waterborne resins based on lignin, and using mineral fillers as flame retardants has been developed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF. Called OrganoPor, the board can easily replace the conventional polystyrene boards used in current thermal insulation composite systems (TICS). OrganoPor, said the Institute, can be ‘competitive in manufacturing and processing’, as well as in properties and price – ‘a pioneering achievement’.
The panels are manufactured using a process in which the porous particles of renewable raw materials are coated with a bio-based duromer, to which a mineral flame retardant, has been added. They are then simply pressed. As this is not a new process, implementation should present no problem. An additional benefit is the availability of raw materials Developed within the scope of a 2-year research project the resulting boards behave in fires in the same way as the latest-generation polystyrene foam hybrid materials. Component densities of 120 kg/m? and thermal conductivities of 40 mW/m K have been achieved. Its open-pored structure provides control of water vapour diffusion. Also, applications tests have shown that OrganoPor can be easily used in TICSs.
According to Fraunhofer LBF, OrganoPor has a ‘great opportunity to establish itself as an ecological alternative in the insulation material market’.