LADICIM brings Brazilian researcher Túlio Panzera on board to develop a bio-based sandwich panel project

The Carolina Foundation, through its international research collaboration grants program, has facilitated the incorporation of the professor from the Federal University of São João del-Rei

The Laboratory of the Materials Science and Engineering Division of the University of Cantabria has incorporated the Brazilian researcher Túlio Hallak Panzera to lead a project focused on the development of fully bio-based sandwich materials, ideal for light structural applications with high stiffness and thermal and acoustic insulation.


The Carolina Foundation, through its international research collaboration grants program, has facilitated the incorporation to LADICIM of the PhD in Mechanical Design and full professor of the Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering of the Federal University of São João del-Rei (Brazil), whose research line is related to advances in the development of sustainable and intelligent materials. The stay has a duration of three months.


In this case, the research project he leads at the Laboratory, entitled ‘Fully biobased multifunctional sandwich panels’, focuses on developing composite sandwich materials with egg-shaped corrugated cores made from natural fibers and biopolymers. These panels feature aluminum faces and the possibility of incorporating a biofoam filling derived from castor oil. The main objective is to create lightweight materials that offer high stiffness, strength and excellent thermal and acoustic insulation properties. These multifunctional structures have potential applications in sectors such as automotive, construction and aerospace.


Carlos Thomas, UC professor and LADICIM researcher, assures that this project “will strengthen the collaborative alliance” that the Laboratory has maintained for ten years with Professor Panzera and his University, which has allowed them to develop research projects and publish scientific articles.


“This new international collaboration promises to drive significant scientific advances. Leveraging our state-of-the-art testing facilities provides Professor Panzera and his team with valuable data that will require detailed analysis. These results will serve as the basis for the creation of collaborative publications that will foster the launch of new projects and facilitate the integration of new researchers into our team.”

Patent development and sustainability

Extensive international training – with two postdocs in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol (UK), among other degrees -, patent development and commitment to sustainability mark the professional and research career of Túlio Panzera.

As for his contribution to applied research, he has obtained four patents that include the reuse of PET bottle caps and bamboo rings as core materials for sandwich panels, a sustainable metallic fiber laminate designed for applications in the aeronautical, automotive and construction industries, and cementitious composite materials specifically developed for the restoration of historical monuments built with carved rocks.

The Brazilian researcher’s focus is on the development of sustainable materials, which aligns with the growing need for environmentally friendly solutions in today’s industry.

Since 2012, Panzera has been collaborating closely with Professor Carlos Thomas. The two have jointly published 10 scientific papers focused on composite materials.