The AEROCORK project is a R&D collaborative effort undertaken by four ambitious and cutting-edge companies

Mozelos/ VFR, Portugal - Dec 23, 2009 - During the course of 2008, the Portuguese lightweight aircraft manufacturer Dyn'Aero Iberica issued a request to industry and academia partners. This request addressed the substitution of several oil-derived components in its lightweight airplane models, in favor of cork-derived components. A consortium was formed and an application was submitted to an R&D grant within the European Union framework. In late 2008, this grant was approved and awarded to the consortium. The AEROCORK project has a time span of three years.

The purpose of this project is the phasing out of as many components made out of oil-derived materials as possible.

Components to be phased out are currently used in structural, safety and in aesthetical applications. The phasing out of these components will result in substantial cost reduction of the whole manufacturing process. Oil-derived materials carry the risk of becoming more expensive by the year, as oil prices surge, along with global demand. Also, the integration of the cork composites would benefit the social and environmental footprint of Dyn'Aero Iberica, as cork is an entirely natural substance. Moreover, its manufacturing premises are located in a region which is strongly dependent on the cork extraction and related processing industries.

It will be up to Amorim Cork Composites (world leader in the research and production of cork composites) to provide the expertise regarding the most appropriate agglomerates for aeronautical applications. PIEP will focus in the research of mechanical behavior of the selected agglomerates, while Active Space Technologies will provide CAD capabilities, structural and thermal analysis, including any required optimizations efforts.

Leveraging on a lean-management collaborative process, the AEROCORK project represents an overall investment of 1.27 million euros. The first flights in certified Dyn'Aero Iberica airplanes are predicted to take place in late 2010.


Company Center: Amorim Cork Composites