Use of plant pith to improve building higrothermal behaviour
Total activity: 3
Type of activity
MIN DE ECONOMIA Y COMPETITIVIDAD
Funding entity code
This project aims to contribute to reducing the environmental impact of the building sector. In order to achieve this objective, we propose developing environmentally friendly, low-cost, and fully biodegradable insulating systems formulated from agricultural by-products and natural gums. In this way, we aim to diminish the energy demand of buildings, but also to reduce the embodied energy and other associated impacts such as depletion of non-renewable raw materials or waste generation. This proposal continues a research line of the group that has already led to promising results. The insulating thermal materials obtained from crushed plant pith and sodium alginates exhibit low thermal conductivities, around 0.039 W/mK, together with low density values, below 50 kg/m3. This preliminary work has also allowed to define the key issues that must be faced in this project. These aspects can be grouped in three working lines: 1. the development and optimization of the insulating materials, 2. the hygrothermal characterization of the panels 3. and the development of an external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) incorporating the vegetal panels. First, we would evaluate the influence of particle size of the pith and the alginate ratio, as well as the manufacture process to guarantee satisfactory thermal and mechanical properties. The optimization will be focussed on improving the fire behaviour and the resistance to biotic attacks. The hygrothermal characteristics of the obtained materials have a positive effect on indoor moisture regulation and on the increase of thermal inertia of the material. Both aspects will be analysed along the project. In the third line, we will work on the development of an external thermal insulation system (ETICS) containing the vegetal panels obtained. We aim to produce a system that as a whole can be considered as a low environmental impact material. Therefore, we will evaluate different kind of additives. Finally, we will study the façades fire spread in the case of ETICS systems, focusing mainly in the effect of the type of insulating material on the fire behaviour.
Lacasta, A.M; Palumbo, M.; Holcroft, N.; Shea, A.; Walker, P. Construction and building materials Vol. 125, p. 269-275 DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2016.07.106 Date of publication: 2016-10-15 Journal article