For thousands of years, cork has been protecting, inspiring and dazzling the human being. Its origin takes us back to the V century B.C., where it was used as an amphora for sealing wines, shoes, floats and fishing materials. Centuries later it was used as an insulator of cold and moisture and in the XV and XVI centuries it was applied on the caravels that led the Lusitanian navigators to the world’s discovery.
Cork, the outer bark of the cork tree, QUERCUS SUBER L, is a vegetable fabric formed by millions of micro-cells, which are filled with a gaseous mixture identical to air.
This cell-like structure, similar to a honeycomb, gives cork great elasticity and, as incredible as it may seem, cork can be compressed to half of its size without losing its flexibility.
The cushion-like cells have a truly elastic memory. When compressed, they instantly try to return to their original shape. This elasticity gives cork a high level of tolerance to climate changes.
It’s light, chemical inert, moisture resistance and biodegradable.
Cork most distinguished and useful properties are: low density, resiliency, impermeability, insulating and fire retardant properties, low conductivity, high resistance to wear and tear, warm and soft touch and anti-static.
Innovation and new techniques have been introduced in the cork industry helping the development of an amazing combination of new materials, challenging fashion designers and researchers to optimize its usages.
However its main application is for sealing wines and spirits, being the chosen material for more than 70% of the world wine producers.
Many of its uses are probably not known by the majority of consumers because they may not be visible but yet its benefits are remarkable and outstanding. Cork unique properties are available in many different forms: natural, granulated, agglomerated in blocks, sheets or rolls and in combination with other materials and unique formulations, making today’s living safer, more enjoyable and comfortable.
Cork properties make it an all-purpose problem solver and suitable for a wide range of applications: Energy Conservation | Flotation | Gasketing | Insulation | Load Bearing | Polishing | Sealing | Sound Dampening | Vibration Control | Weight Reduction.
The cork industry is living very innovative times and everyday new application areas are discovered using this extraordinary material. The suspense about the future makes us being aware and even more diligent in finding new avenues to satisfy the market needs and evolution.