WHAT IS CORK?

Cork is a material whose applications have been known since Antiquity (Phoenicians and Greeks), mainly as a floating artifact and as a sealant, whose market, since the beginning of the 20th century, has expanded enormously, especially in face of the development of cork agglomerates. Natural cork is the suberous layer of cork oak (Quercus suber L.), constituting the covering of its tree trunk and branches.

CORK CHARACTERISTICS

Structure: Cork has a cellular or alveolar structure. Chemical Composition: The cork consists mainly of Suberine, Lignin, Polysaccharides, Cerides and Tannins.

PROPERTIES

These characteristics make cork light, elastic, practically impermeable to liquids and gases, an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator and with a high resistance to fire.

ABOUT EXPANDED CORK AGGLOMERATE

The Expanded cork agglomerate, commonly known as insulation cork board, is a 100% natural product, in which the agglutination of the granules of the raw material takes place exclusively as a consequence of the volumetric expansion and the exudation of the natural cork resins, generated by the temperature transmitted by a thermal fluid (water vapor). Thus, an agglomerate is produced with a composition that does not use any glues, paints or additives, being only made up of cork, which is why it is also called pure cork agglomerate. Internationally and in current technical documentation, the agglomerate of expanded cork is referenced by the acronym ICB, of the English denomination Insulation Cork Board.
The raw material used is falca, a type of cork from the cyclic prunings of cork oaks. This cork, after being extracted from the branches, is crushed and cleaned of impurities - earths, stones, cork dust, bark, wood and later being retreated and used as biomass. This biomass is used for the production of water vapor at 400ºC. After being crushed and cleaned, an autoclave is filled with the granulate, which is injected with water vapor through an upward stream. This high-temperature vapor stream causes the grain to expand, releasing the internal resins into the grain, forming a parallelepiped ICB block with the autoclave itself functioning as a mold.
After complete cooling and dimensional stabilization, the cutting and finishing steps are followed, in which the blocks are sectioned and the square is set, proceeding directly to the insulation or to the design section, giving rise to the furniture of Blackcork or to the walls Gencork, Corkwave and Corkwave Green.

HOW WAS IT BORN

The black cork agglomerate was accidentally discovered in 1891 by the American lifejacket manufacturer John Smith of New York, whose manufacture was patented (patent No. 484345) in October 1892. As it was common in those times, the life jackets were made with canvas vests filled with cork granulate, in tubes or in a cylindrical metal, in order to keep the canvas stretched, until the filling was finished. One night, one of these cylinders was forgotten and filled with granules, and by accident, rolled into a boiler. The next morning, John Smith, the owner, when cleaning the furnace, discovered that the heat had not consumed the cork inside the tube, but rather had turned the granule into a perfectly aggregated dark brown cylindrical mass.