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Sustainability/ Green Materials


An 80-year-old manufacturer of concrete products for the construction and homeowner markets explored the use of post-industry materials such as fly ash in their products with the help of a Cornell Civil Engineering faculty. The mechanical properties of blocks of various compositions were analyzed and compared to industry standards. This new strategy will enable the company to reduce costs and to market a partially recycled final product.

One of the largest tire manufacturers in the world is developing innovative bio-based and sustainable polymers. The multinational company, which is based in France, has been working with a Cornell chemistry professor for several years to develop the new technology, with the goal of decreasing its manufacturing costs, improving the durability and safety of its products, and allowing the company to rely less on fossil fuels.

A NY state company, a spinoff of an office supplies manufacturer, was looking for new markets such as using Linoleum for writing surfaces. Linoleum is made of organic material. It is produced by drying Linseed oil or flax oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the flax plant. Linoleum is not only a green product it is also antibacterial, and non allergenic. However, while the patented process of making Linoleum is about 100 years old, patent descriptions don’t include step-by-step instructions for making a product. The company turned to the CCMR for help in reinventing the recipe.  With the help of a Cornell fiber scientist, a series of experiments were carried out with varying compositions and ingredients. Promising mixtures were hot pressed into flat sheets  producing a smooth flat finished surface suitable for a writing surface in an office environment.  The top formulations were documented and given to the company for scale-up.

A NY State startup is developing a lighter, greener bus to be used in the northeast region of the U.S., where window defrosting is critical for a large portion of the year. The company worked with a Cornell MEng student on the development of a window technology using nanomaterials to alter the thermal properties of the glass and facilitate deicing. This project required material selection, research of optical and thermal standards, tooling, and testing and fabrication of samples, all expertise and equipment available at CCMR.


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