This superb raw material that we call ‘Cork’ is derived and produced primarily from a particular tree called the Cork Oak tree and the country that produces almost 50% of the worlds cork lies in Portugal. A convent named the ‘Convent of the Capuchos’ or the ‘Cork Convent’ was built back in the late 1560s using this material for the majority part of its architecture, because it was believed that it helped provide one of the most idyllic conditions for contemplation and meditation by being one with nature. In this blog, you will know How Well Does Cork Work for Soundproofing.
This magnificent structure has a chemical composition is C123 H182 O56 N and while those letters and numbers may not mean much to some of us, the fact that it is one of the most widely used, eco-friendly, recyclable and flexible of all materials derived from nature, should mean a lot more to us.
This produce is used so vastly for a number of uses that its popularity has not faded away since it was first used in the aviation industry in the 60s tosound proofthe aeroplanes from both wind and engine noise and in fact thanks to new-age experimental mentalities and scientific research, it has only become more widely used now than ever before.
The value that is derived form this natural source is priceless because it is one of the most elastic materials on the planet and the most impermeable, which makes it appropriate to be used in everyday items like corks for bottle stoppers, especially within the wine industry on wine bottles and almost 60% of cork manufacturing goes into these. You can learn more about the production and uses there of here.
Also famous in the fishing industry, because of its low-density, it is the choice for fishing experts, where it is included in the handles of various types of fishing rods, a substitute where once neoprene would have normally been used. Additionally, it is also in the production of fishing buoys or floats.
If you are a fan of woodwind instruments, like guitar, flutes and even drums, then you would probably already know that it is used to clasp together different sections of the device and make it a lot more airtight and some flutes are etched out primarily of cork.
Because of its high levels of sustainability, the use is agreed by many to be of an environmentally friendly kind, especially because you can recycle it easily and use it for various other uses. Also, it is a lot cheaper to use it than plastic or synthetic materials. Although because the demand has increase in the last decade, there are companies that manufacture slightly more expensive corks for the wine or music industry.
The other popular use for cork is for soundproofing, if you haven’t tried it in your studio walls or floors or even in the home theatre arena already, perhaps you should cork it or sound absorption including minimising vibrations
Four reasons why the manufacturing industries use it are:
- Environmentally Friendly
- Fire retardant (however it is advised not to place the cork near an open flame)
Other uses for it are in the sports industry as well. Both baseballs and cricket balls are made of it with the addition of rubber traditionally bonded together and in the case of the cricket balls, they are usually encased in four layers of leather outer material to give it that necessary lasting finish due to excessive use on the pitch.
Talking about the sports industry, some nations have even chosen to use it for their football pitches, not only for its natural properties but also because running on cork decreases body impact by at least 40% due its high shock absorption property. France implemented this in the year 2016 during the Euro Finals.
Did you know even space shuttles have cork in them? It is an excellent thermal insulator, plus it provides far less smoke when incinerated than other things such as laminate etc and thus used in the vessel, and because the temperatures of over 1000 degrees when launching a space craft cannot catch fire, it is the perfect choice to implement.
As you can see, this one material is as magnificent as the tree it comes from and with investments in research and development sectors globally paired with technological advances, the submissions of cork are progressively astounding. Looking back at all its uses, one cannot deny that it has come a long way in helping to save the planet and the various industries that are introduced at such high-speeds, and helping them towards implementing a more natural and earth-friendly method.
Further uses have also been found in industries such as manufacturing of clothing, footwear and jewellery, and even cosmetics and bio-pharma and health. We even use it all around our home while cooking or in our table wear – when we are laying the dinner table placing our cork mats in front of each chair or underneath a hot pot. We may have never noticed that we are surrounded by it in our daily lives, until now. So, we would hope that the next time you come across the choice between buying an item made of cork versus one that is made from any other material such as plastic, we hope you know which one to go for.