What is cork?
Cork is a natural, recyclable and reusable material, which is important for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable society. It is from the cork oak (Quercus Suber L.) that this nature's extraordinary product is harvested from. Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree, which grows mainly in the Mediterranean region. The cork oak tree has a life span of 250-350 years. It takes each cork oak tree 25 years before it can be harvested for the first time. After the first harvest, the cork oak tree will be harvested every 9 years.
Cork is practically impermeable to liquids and gases. Its resistance to moisture enables it to age without deteriorating.
Cork is a natural fire retardant. It burns without a flame and does not emit toxic gases during combustion.
The natural texture of cork combines softness and flexibility to the touch with a naturally uneven surface. The variable degree of irregularity is given by the type of cork that is used and the chosen finish.
Cork does not absorb dust, so it helps protect against allergies and does not pose a risk to asthma sufferers.
A vegetable tissue that weights only 0.16 grams per cubic centimeter.
Elastic and compressible
Cork can be compressed to around half its thickness without losing any flexibility and will recover its shape and volume as soon as it is released. As a result of its elasticity, cork is able to adapt to variations in temperature and pressure without suffering alterations.
Thermal and acoustic insulator
Cork has a low conductivity to heat, noise and vibration, because the gaseous components contained in cork are enclosed in small impermeable compartments, isolated from each other by a moisture-resistant substance.
In Portugal (the world's largest cork producer), new plantations of cork oak trees are planted each year to ensure that the level of cork production is maintained. The regular extraction of cork is a fundamental contribution to the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the rural areas where the cork oak is found. Regular stripping of the cork oak also strengthens its ability to absorb carbon dioxide. A stripped cork oak absorbs five times more CO2. It is estimated that, every year, cork oak forests retain up to 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.