Cork: What Makes This Material So Special?

By Jamie Orr
Date 15/04/2021
cork what makes this material so special?

As a pioneering supplier of natural cork-based render products, we’re well aware of the various properties and benefits that make cork such a special material. But it’s understandable that not everyone is quite so familiar with it.

Despite becoming one of the most exciting building materials, many people will still only know cork from the top of their wine bottle. We thought it was time to put that right. Read on as we take a closer look at what makes cork so special…

Sustainable and eco-friendly

Starting at the first step in cork’s journey, the material is obtained from cork oak trees. However, unlike many other products derived from trees, it doesn’t require the tree to be felled. Instead, the cork bark can be stripped from the tree before regrowing within a decade.

After around 25 years, once the tree has begun producing cork, the material can be harvested for up to 300 years without any damage to the tree. In fact, the process of stripping cork bark away actually absorbs carbon dioxide, so it’s harder to find a more eco-friendly material!

That was highlighted in 2016 when Kevin McCloud named Corksol’s SprayCork as one of the best eco-friendly materials on the market, as part of his Green Heroes Scheme.

Cork’s natural properties

What really sets cork apart is its natural properties. While most materials taken from trees are known solely for being hard and rigid, cork is naturally flexible, breathable, impermeable and buoyant.

This makes it a fantastic material for all kinds of different applications. That includes its most popular use for drinks. Impermeability and elasticity make cork the perfect material for protecting and preserving wines and beers, preventing the liquid from escaping and oxygen from entering.

As time goes on, we’re seeing cork pop up in more and more industries. Corksol’s SprayCork is the perfect example, adding the unique qualities of cork to render. It’s flexible to reduce the chance of cracking, breathable to eliminate damp issues, and impermeable to protect your walls from moisture.

The structure of cork

Another distinctive property of cork is its structure. The material has a honeycomb-like structure, comprising millions of empty cells within every cubic square inch. That adds another array of properties to products which contain cork.

When cork is cut, those empty cells act as suction cups, offering superb adhesion and non-slip properties. The empty cells also make cork impressively insulative. That applies both in terms of heat and noise. When used on walls, for example, cork will make it much harder for heat to pass through, as well as reducing the amount of noise that makes it into (or out of) a building or room.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, cork is naturally fire retardant. Fire will only ever burn the surface of cork, with no toxic fumes being emitted.

Using cork on your property

Cork is a truly unique material with a number of distinctive properties and associated benefits. At Corksol, we’ve incorporated that into our innovative cork-based render. From energy efficiency to a stunning finish, SprayCork draws on the natural qualities of cork to tick every box for your property.

If you’d like to find out more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly UK team.

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