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We discover the properties of Cork in Science Week

Did you know that the first thing observed in a microscope was a cork sheet? In the framework of the Science Week 2020, the Catalan Institute of Cork Foundation has participated in one educational video promoted by Cork Museum from Palafrugell where the members of the team explain the properties of cork discovered at the root of the ephemeris of the renowned British scientist.


The properties of cork

1 – Low density and lightness. The cork cells have the 90% occupied by air.

2 – Impermeability. The suberin and waxes present in the cell wall make cork virtually impermeable to liquids and gases. The hexagonal pores in its wall filled with air make it inaccessible to other compounds.

3 – Low heat transmission and good thermal insulation. The high gas content, the size of the cells and the low adsorption power make it have this property.

4 – Acoustic insulation and low sound transmission. The low density and high porosity means that most of the sound waves are adsorbed and transformed into heat energy. Cork is an acoustic corrector since it adsorbs more than 60% of the sound waves that strike the surface.

5 – High resistance to movement or high coefficient of friction. The suction cup effect caused by the surface of the cells makes it a very important property when using cork as a capping material.

6 – Damping capacity. It occurs due to the bending deformation of the cell walls and is a very important property for some applications such as caps or shoe soles.

7 – Compressibility, flexibility and elasticity. The high air content of its cells allows it to be compressed to almost half without losing flexibility, and to recover its shape and volume when the pressure is stopped. It is the only solid that if compressed on one side, does not increase on the other.

8 – Durability, stability and rigidity. The lignin and polysaccharides in its cell wall give it rigidity and make it resistant to the passage of time.

9 – hygroscopic. It hydrates depending on the environmental conditions.

10 – 100% natural, recyclable and renewable. It is a plant-based material that can be extracted without harming the tree and regenerates itself over the years. It allows a sustainable balance between agroforestry management and human action. In line with current trends in natural materials and sustainable construction. It is a clear example of circular economy.


Science Week

Science Week, promoted by the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation, it consists of the organization of dozens of activities such as open days, exhibitions, talks, games, scientific workshops... intended to promote scientific dissemination throughout the territory. This year Science Week takes place from November 14 to 19 and celebrates its 25th edition.