Table of Contents
ISRN Materials Science
Volume 2014, Article ID 898439, 6 pages
Research Article

The Excellent Mechanical Properties of Cork: A Novel Approach through the Analysis of Contact Stress

1Department of Mechanical, Energetic and Materials Engineering, School of Industrial Engineering, University of Extremadura, Avenida de Elvas, s/n, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
2Department of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Extremadura, Avenida de Elvas, s/n, 06071 Badajoz, Spain

Received 18 February 2014; Accepted 30 March 2014; Published 7 May 2014

Academic Editors: P. Mandracci, Y. Sun, and R. A. Varin

Copyright © 2014 Antonio Díaz-Parralejo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In many technological applications of cork, this biomaterial is under strongly localized contact stresses, which largely differ from the homogeneous distribution of stresses of the typical uniaxial compression tests. Indentation tests constitute an excellent form of determining the behavior of the materials under localized stresses. In the present study, the applicability of Hertzian and Brinell indentation tests to the evaluation of the mechanical properties of cork is tested. One of the main conclusions of the study is that the elastic anisotropy of the material is related to the anisotropic structure of the different sections cut from a cork sample, a clear difference between the back tangential section and the other sections being observed.