Rigid polyurethane foams derived from cork liquefied at atmospheric pressure


The aim of this study was to evaluate the possibility of using polyols derived from liquefied cork in the production of novel bio-based polyurethane foams (PUFs). For that purpose, different liquefaction conditions were used at atmospheric pressure and moderate temperature where poly(ethylene glycol) and glycerol were used as solvents and sulfuric acid as catalyst. The ensuing polyols were used to produce foams which were characterized using structural, morphological, thermal and mechanical analyses to demonstrate that liquefaction conditions play a crucial role in the properties of the foams. The resulting foams exhibited the typical cellular structure of PUFs with low densities (57.4-70.7 kgm(-3)) and low thermal conductivities (0.038-0.040 Wm(-1)K(-1)). However, the mechanical properties differed significantly depending on the liquefaction conditions. The best stress-strain results were obtained for PUFs prepared using the polyol with lowest I-OH and water content (Young's modulus of 475.0 kPa, compressive stress (sigma(10%)) of 34.6 kPa and toughness of 7397.1 Jm(-3)). This PUF was thermally stable up to 200 degrees C and presented a glass transition temperature of around 27 degrees C. The results obtained demonstrate that these polyols from liquefied cork yield PUFs that are adequate materials for insulation applications. (c) 2014 Society of Chemical Industry



subject category

Polymer Science


Gama, NV; Soares, B; Freire, CSR; Silva, R; Brandao, I; Neto, CP; Barros-Timmons, A; Ferreira, A

our authors


The authors acknowledge QREN/FEDER for funding the Ecopolyols project (no. 11435). Thermal Analysis Laboratory was funded by FEDER funds through Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade - COMPETE and by National Funds through FCT under the project REEQ/515/CTM/2005. The authors also acknowledge Dow Chemical for kindly supplying the isocyanate. CICECO acknowledges FCT for the Pest-C/CTM/LA0011/2013 project. One of the authors (CSRF) acknowledges FCT/MCTES for a research contract under the program Investigador FCT 2012.

Share this project:

Related Publications

We use cookies for marketing activities and to offer you a better experience. By clicking “Accept Cookies” you agree with our cookie policy. Read about how we use cookies by clicking "Privacy and Cookie Policy".