Impervious to liquids and gases
Elastic and compressible
An excellent thermal and acoustic insulation
Almost incombustible without release toxic gases
Very resistant to friction
- Natural product
- Practically unlimited durability
Cork is a vegetal material that comes from the bark (súber) of oak trees (Quercus suber) and has a high insulation power. It comes essentially from Portugal, where there are about 720 thousand hectares of Oak trees, as well as from the Mediterranean regions like Spain, Italy, France, Morocco and Algeria. It is also in Portugal, in the North, where is concentrated the cork industry with a relevant economic impact in the region.
The oak tree can live from 150 up to 200 years and it has an enormous regeneration capacity. Throughout its existence cork is harvested more or less 16 times (every 9 years). Only after a period of 25 years of existence can the first cork be harvested. This cork is called virgin cork. Nine years later cork is again harvested, being thus called “secundeira”. This process can only be done every 9 years. The third time cork is harvested (that is, at the end of 40 – 50 years) it is finally possible to have the best cork to produce stoppers (this sort being called “amadia”).
As it is a natural product, unique and with unparalleled qualities, it is considered a noble raw material which can have a wide range of uses, such as: stoppers on wine bottles; floor covering; thermal and acoustic insulation; components for footwear; for the automotive industry; among others.