Development of sustainable low-carbon bionics-based lightweight panels
The low carbon economy requires us to utilize more and more environmentally friendly and renewable materials, such as wood, in our everyday life. Wood-based lightweight sandwich panels are one of promising solutions, since they consume less resources, apply smaller loads on the foundation, and generate lower transportation and construction costs. To achieve this, scientists have learned from the nature to develop many engineering solutions. My study is aimed to adopt the bionics concept to manufacture sandwich panels. The core structure of the panel was inspired by studying the microstructure of wood, mimicking the cellular structure of the softwood such as Balsam fir. For the preliminary evaluation of the structure the prototype of the panel was printed using a 3D printer and PLA filaments. Then sandwich panel was fabricated with medium density fiberboards as the core and plywood as surface layers. The potential uses of the sandwich panels are walls, ceilings, and floors in buildings and packaging. Panels of the optimized structure will possess acceptable mechanical, thermal and acoustic properties, and store carbon over their lifespan. The wood-based panels wood will be environmentally friendly and sustainable, assisting to reduce carbon footprint in comparison to commonly used concrete- and metal-based materials.