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Open Access Cardboard-Based Packaging Materials as Renewable Thermal Insulation of Buildings: Thermal and Life-Cycle Performance

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Cardboard-based packaging components represent a material that has significant potential as a renewable source for exploitation in buildings. This study presents the results of thermal and environmental analyses of existing packaging materials compared with standard conventional thermal insulations.

Experimental measurements were performed to identify the thermal performance of studied cardboard packaging materials. Real-size samples were experimentally tested in laboratory measurements. The thermal resistance and conductivity of all the analyzed samples were measured according to the procedure indicated in the ISO8032 standard. A life-cycle assessment according to ISO 14040 was also performed to evaluate the environmental impacts related to the production of these materials. The results show that cardboard panels are a material with thermal and environmental properties on par with contemporary thermal insulations. Depending on their structure, the measured thermal conductivity varies from 0.05 to 0.12 W·m–1·K–1 and their environmental impacts are much lower than those of polyisocyanurate foam or mineral wool.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2017

This article was made available online on 28 April 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Cardboard-Based Packaging Materials as Renewable Thermal Insulation of Buildings: Thermal and Life-Cycle Performance".

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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