Aerocork. Photo: Paul Ridden.
Given predictions of dwindling supplies of petroleum—not to mention the recent unmitigated oil disaster in the Gulf—manufacturers of synthetic plastic-based products are eager to explore renewable feedstocks to traditional fossil fuels.
Portuguese aircraft manufacturer, Dyn'Aero Ibérica, initiated a research effort in 2008 with Amorim Cork Composites to develop a bio-based replacement for PVC foam and other synthetic polymer aircraft materials. The company recently exhibited the results of their efforts at the Paris Green Air Show. Named Aerocork, the natural cork composite is currently being used to construct one of Dyn'Aero Ibérica’s new planes, the MCR UL aircraft.