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What is Cork?

Cork is the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber L), a noble tree with very special characteristics that grows in Mediterranean regions such as Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Algeria and, most particularly, in Portugal, where there are more than 720 thousand hectares of cork forests, as well as a cork industry of considerable economic importance.

It is an astonishing tree, very long-lived and with an enormous capacity for regeneration. It can live on average 150 to 200 years, despite its bark being stripped around 16 times during its lifetime, at nine-year intervals.

 
Cork Oak. © by APCOR   Cork Country. © by APCOR

Cork - this vegetable tissue which is harvested with such care, has unique and incomparable qualities which no ingenious human has yet managed to imitate or improve:

  1. very light
  2. impermeable to liquids and gases
  3. elastic and compressible
  4. an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator
  5. fire retardant 
  6. highly abrasion resistant

But it is, above all, a material that is one hundred per cent natural, recyclable and reusable, essential qualities in a more environmentally friendly and less polluted modern society.