20 aeronautics students master's and doctoral students from Turkey, Portugal, Poland and Lithuania visited the Institut Català del Suro Foundation in Palafrugell from 25 to 29 October as part of the project EcoCORK of a program Erasmus+ for develop sustainable and environmentally friendly cork compounds for aerospace applications.
For five days the members of the project came into contact with the world of cork with various activities such as a visit to the Cork Museum in Palafrugell, an excursion to the cork oak forests of Cassà de la Selva to get to know the material first hand or a visit the Francisco Oller SA Factory to see how it works. They completed the experience with several training sessions by the technicians of the Institut Català del Suro Foundation.
The training of the students will continue during the next two years with the visit to the headquarters of the other university partners of the project.
What is ECOCORK?
Materials science is developing and major industries such as aerospace and automotive are taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies in their applications. As the market demands lightweight materials along with superior strength, the materials stand out as substitutes for metal alloys. Leading companies, especially in the aerospace sector, invest in cork. However, there is a lack of human resources in the field, as the curricula of engineering programs focus on technical aspects rather than including the environmental effects of engineering materials.
ECOCORK aims to develop educational tools to create ecological awareness in the manufacture of cork compounds, as well as to help understand the importance of "eco-friendly" natural compounds in terms of sustainability for aerospace products. The partners will develop an educational scheme and the project will be developed with university researchers.
The industrial partner, ACC, will contribute to the preparation of training programs on the sustainability and carbon footprint of cork products. Within this scope of strategic partnership, there will be a bridge established from the homeland of cork (Portugal and Spain) to Eastern Europe, where large amounts of investment have been paid for Aerospace applications .
Participants: Eskisehir Osmangazi Universitesi, Universidade de Aveiro, Politechnika Wroclawska, Amorim Cork Composites SA, Vilniaus Gedimino Technikos Universitetas and the Institut Català del Suro Foundation.