Students from the University of Aveiro visited KATCH_e partner Amorim Cork Composites
On the 12th November, students enrolled in the curricular unit: Product Design within Circular Economy at the University of Aveiro visited the KATCH_e partner Amorim Cork Composites.
Amorim Cork Composites (ACC) is the business partner of KATCH_e in Portugal, and is also providing the materials and technical support to the students proposals throughout this course.
Working in the development of a piece or set of furniture pieces in cork and wood, the multidisciplinary teams of students had the chance to understand the diverse characteristics of cork and the advantages and constrains of this natural and renewable material. The contact with Amorim Cork Composites designers and materials engineers was valuable to enlighten some doubts about the furniture proposals already advanced, incorporating the knowledge acquired on Circular Economy during classes.
After visiting ACC’s showroom and learning about the different applications of cork-based materials, from insulation, furnishing or even fashion, the groups had access to the industrial facilities. There, they understood the industrial process of cork transformation as well as observed concerns with circular economy in several steps along the process: from reusing cork waste to creating cork composites using by-products from other industries.
Susana Silva, KATCH_e project member, also hosted the groups at a new facility within the company, the i.cork factory, that will work as a pilot plant, entirely dedicated to research for innovation in the use of cork for subsequent application in large-scale production. They learned about new processes and new cork-based materials that Amorim Cork Composites is researching, following the markets demand.
Students also got to understand the necessities of the company regarding the two curricular internships that will be hosted at ACC on the next semester.