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BioMaterial Blog Cork Agar Starch Composite

Ross Dalziel @cheapjack edited this page Nov 27, 2018 · 3 revisions

Agar/starch - cork composite

We made our first Cork recipe toward a plant pot prototype so house plants can be planted outside and just grow through the pot. Unfortunately we didn't quite get the best results in terms of shape definition

I think the 0.5cups of cork is a really poor guide to measuring; no info about what kind of cup (US/EU/CAN) or what kind of density of mix or weight so I took a guess for the first run for what looked like close a US cup amount. Guessing isn't going to work so we will attempt another run with 43g of cork based on a baking conversion table for rolled oats. We'll experiment around this.

Ingredient Suggested Amount Mix 1 2018-10-8 Mix 2 2018-11-27 Mix 3
Agar 15ml 7.5g 7.5g
Glycerol 5ml 2.5g 2.5g
Water 250ml 125ml 125ml
Cornstarch 15ml 7.5g 7.5g
Cork 0.5cups guess of 0.25 cups 43g
Result Good density but poor definition & went mouldy Waiting to Dry

Method (from Materiom)

  1. Mix agar and cornstarch with water. Then add glycerin and cork.
  2. Heat everything until it thickens and bubbles begin.
  3. Pour into the mold. Drying time depends on the ventilation of the mould and the temperature and humidity of the place.
  4. Dry in mold a dry & warm spot

We left it to dry for a week and mold did grow on parts of the material.


Mix 1

Mix 2

Cork Source

R & H Fine Wines kindly been collecting used corks for us from his shop for blending.

Next Steps

Make our own silicon moulds with Chris ZombieKing

Other alternatives to Materiom recipes

Detail was fairly basic in this recipe on Materiom and this seems to be the case for quite a few recipes out there.

Discovered a few other online (issuu) publications about BioPlastic but again these seem to focus on beautiful styling and imagery; actual tips, FAQs and accurate recipes are much harder to find

Bioplastc Cookbook by Margaret Donne Bioplastic - Tools and Recipes by Johan Viladrich Secrets of BioPlastic by Clara Davis during her internship at Fab Textiles Lab Barcelona Recipes for Material Activism by Miriam Ribul

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