As a material, cork has long been prized by designers, architects, and engineers from all over the world. Cork is frequently used for a variety of applications from fashion to design, construction to energy production, and even in the aerospace industry.
But what makes cork such a unique and versatile material?
Cork is a 100% natural plant tissue that comes from the Cork Oak tree. Unlike wood, cork is stripped from the bark of the tree and, in time, regrows making it 100% renewable and completely sustainable.
Thermal and acoustic insulator
The gaseous pockets in cork mean that cork has extremely low conductivity to heat, noise, and vibration. This makes it an idea material for soundproofing office and leisure spaces, and is great for reducing heat loss.
Another one of cork’s unique material properties is that it’s a natural fire retardant. Cork burns without a flame and does not emit any toxic gasses or chemicals, making it an incredibly safe material to use in public spaces.
The small pockets or cells in cork contain suberin and ceroids which makes cork impermeable to moisture and gas. This, in turn, means that cork won’t rot or deteriorate over time, making it an excellent option for wall coverings and flooring products, among other things.
Cork is filled with air pockets, in fact it’s made up of around 50% air, making it an extremely light material. Cork’s lightness, as well as its buoyancy in water, mean that it’s an extremely versatile and adaptable material with a wide range of applications.
On top of being easy to clean and maintain, cork doesn’t absorb dust and helps to protect against allergies, offering peace of mind when creating shared spaces that require high levels of cleanliness.
Cork is the only solid that, when compressed on one side, does not expand or increase in size elsewhere. Cork’s elasticity allows it to adapt to variations in temperature and pressure without warping or distorting making it a brilliant, hard wearing material with no shortage of commercial applications.
Cork’s distinctive look makes it an aesthetically pleasing material to work with in all kinds of contexts, and its unique properties mean it can be used in anything from natural cork sheets to intricate 3D geometric tiles. Cork products often don’t even look like cork, with wood-effect planks and faux-stone tiles available, as well as a variety of colour options.
To find out more about our range of cork products, or to discuss a project of your own, get in touch.