Cork is the bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus suber L), a an extremely unique tree with a lengthy life time and also an enormous capacity because that regeneration. When the tree get a mature age of 25 it is prepared to it is in peeled turn off for the first time. The an initial two harvests of cork bark are referred to as the virgin cork and secundeira cork. The top quality of obtained material is not good enough to create cork stoppers. Only at 43 year of age cork oak bark regenerates with the top quality cork called amadia. V each harvest cork is getting a smoother texture. The is written from a honeycomb the microscopic cells filled through an air-like gas and also coated mostly with suberin and also lignin. Other compounds are established in its chemistry composition, back in less quantity, such together polysaccharides, ceroids and also tannins. A single cubic centimeter of cork contains virtually 40 million cell – around 800 million in a single natural cork stopper.

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Harvesting

Cork harvesting is the process of removed the bark turn off the cork tree. Dedicated professionals use a machete to part the bark right into sections and then they usage a metal wedge come peel this sections indigenous the trees. Harvest takes place always between May and August, once the tree is at its most active phase that growth and also it is much easier to piece the bark there is no damaging the trunk. An average cork oak tree can live as much as 200 year what gives an chance to piece the bark roughly 16 times through 9-12 year interval. From every the cork oak forests, about 340 000 tonnes the cork space harvested every year.


Montados

Cork tree woodlands (Montados) cover the surface ar of virtually 2.2 million hectares in the West Mediterranean basin. This trees space characteristic the this region, and they represent one of the finest examples the the advance of the multi-functional forest. This landscape supports a wealthy diversity that wildlife, including the Iberian lynx, imperial eagle and Barbary deer. The cork woodland serves a an useful ecological role by giving soil conservation, clean water renewal, while also buffering versus climate changes and desertification. The is estimated that each year cork oak forests retain approximately 14 million tonnes that CO2, a sizeable donation to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, the main cause of climate changes.Equally surprising is the truth that the cork oak boosts its capacity to absorb this gases during the natural regeneration procedure following stripping – a stripped cork tree absorbs, top top average, 5 times much more CO2. The capacity to retain carbon dioxide is additionally passed on to made cork products, which continue to certain this duty to absorb CO2.

Cork forests are sustained by “World Wildlife Fund”


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Portugal – worldwide leader in cork sector

Portugal, which has 1/3 that the full area that cork oak tree (34%), is the largest producer that cork, gift responsible for about 50% of the world’s cork production. Here, the cork oak is the national Tree and occupies 22,5% the the national woodland area. Portugal is not just exporting cork (around 65% that world´s cork export) but likewise importing, mainly from Spain. Cork represents much more than 30% of every forest assets exported and also 2% of every exported goods.

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Data noted by APCOR


Properties that cork

Light

Over 50% that its volume is air, which renders it very light – that weighs simply 0.16 grams every cubic centimeter and can float.Elastic and compressibleThanks to flexible cellular membranes cork have the right to be fitted against the wall of a bottle under pressure and when exit bounces back to its initial form.Impermeable to liquids and also gasesSuberin and also ceroids had in the cork cabinet walls makes it virtually impermeable to liquids and also gases. Its resistance come moisture enables it to period without deteriorating.Thermal and also acoustic insulatorDue to gaseous components included in cork it has actually low conductivity come heat, noise and vibration.Fire redundantIt burns without a flame and also does no emit toxic gases throughout combustion. It does no absorb dust and also is fire resistant in its herbal state.Highly abrasion resistantCork is exceptionally resistant come abrasion and also has a high friction coefficient. Thanks to that honeycomb structure, that resistance to affect or friction is higher than other hard surfaces.HypoallergenicBecause cork does no absorb dust, it help protect against allergies and does not pose a risk to asthma sufferers.