Lead author on the paper, international masters student Ms Israa Bu Najmah, left, and postgrad Nic Lundquist, with samples of the composite and Border Leicester fleece in the Chalker organic chemistry laboratory at Flinders University, Adelaide South Aust
Original Published Date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2021

Full article issued by Flinders University.

ARC-supported researchers at Flinders University have designed a new model for next-generation insulation – made from the sustainable building blocks of wool fibres, sulphur, and canola oil – not only capitalising on wool’s natural low flammability but also promising significant energy savings for property owners and tenants.

The new composite is one of several exciting new composites and polysulfide polymers made from waste products that are now being commercialised, says 2015 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) recipient, Associate Professor Justin Chalker, the New Innovators winner in the 2020 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

'The aim of this new study was to evaluate a composite made from sulphur, canola oil, and wool as thermal insulation. The material is prepared by hot pressing raw wool with a polymer made from sulphur and canola oil,' Associate Professor Chalker says.

'The promising mechanical and insulation properties of this composite bodes well for further exploration in energy saving insulation in our built environment.'

The new study adds to a suite of other composites, such as a new type of building block and a renewable rubber material created in the Chalker Lab. The long-term biodegradation of these materials in a safe and responsible way at the end of their life is also a target of the research.

 

Photo credit: 

Lead author on the paper, international masters student Ms Israa Bu Najmah, left, and postgrad Nic Lundquist, with samples of the composite and Border Leicester (sheep) fleece in the Chalker organic chemistry laboratory at Flinders University, Adelaide South Australia. Credit: Flinders University.