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Spray cork – application

spray cork wall

As building science advances, we try to use the latest technologies to find the right solutions. Sometimes this technology can mix old and new ways, and it doesn’t have to be toxic. A spray cork – application is an excellent example of an innovative and proven solution for building exterior cladding, thermal insulation and waterproofing using old, natural building materials.

Spray cork – application is an alternative to paint or stucco with a mixture of 80% cork granules and 20% water based paint available in many color variations. The spray cork looks very much like stucco. Its surface is structured and feels soft. It is very similar to the paint, only denser. It comes in as many colors as any color, and you can tint it too.

You can use a spray cork on almost any surface that you paint with traditional paint. You can spray it directly on all kinds of exterior walls of your house. The cork structure also creates a nice non-slip surface, making it perfect for patios and walkways. Cork does not feel as hot as masonry and stone, making it ideal for pool decking. As an alternative to spray foam, you can also use a spray plug in the recesses of the inner walls to seal air holes.

Unlike closed-cell foam, spray cork is breathable and allows moisture vapor to pass through, allowing it to dry faster. This application method can also protect wooden walls from mold and rot by acting as a protective binder on the wood. The spray cork can also be applied directly to interior walls if you like this interior style.


Cork is a highly renewable resource, typically sourced from government-protected forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council – the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Portugal. Tree bark is harvested every nine years for 150-250 years. Gathering cork does not harm the trees. Additionally, the granules used in aerosol corks are typically waste by-products of the cork stopper industry.

The spray cork is a mixture of 80% cork granules and 20% water-based paint, applied with a spray gun and compressed air. Because spray cork contains 80% cork, it reduces the release of microplastics from paint degradation. Compare this to other elastomer paints that use more synthetic compounds instead.

The sprayed cork closes gaps and air leaks very well and a tight building is a big step towards a thermally efficient building. A spray cork can be applied to any properly prepared surface – stucco, steel, aluminum, wood, brick, vinyl, clapboard and others. You can use it on a variety of surfaces.


Debris and dust rarely stick to the cork surface and when they do occur the surface can be washed off. After ten years, like any paint, the finish can fade in the sun and may need to be reapplied. A spray cork has seemingly endless benefits. As a renewable raw material and building material, it is an attractive choice for a wide range of applications. It is used in many applications as it adheres to wood, metal, plastic and concrete and is used both inside and outside buildings. Works in any climate; It is resistant to UV rays, atmospheric agents and hail, high and low temperatures, abrasion, fungi and mold.

It’s even fireproof, meets European E-class standards and doesn’t emit any toxic fumes when smoldering. Cork can increase the fire resistance of a building’s exterior in fire-prone regions. The sprayed cork contributes to the thermal insulation of the structure, seals air gaps in the building and absorbs sound. Attaching a spray cork to the outside of a building is an easy way to easily insulate an existing finished structure. The spray cork repels water (making it difficult for the masonry to absorb water) while remaining breathable, allowing steam to penetrate. When the walls are worn you can spray them with a spray cork, saving labor and money and reducing construction waste. It won’t crack and is more flexible than paint and stucco. It is hypoallergenic and self-cleaning as sediment and dust do not stick to its surface as easily.


Lambourde insulation board

Lambourde insulation board on the wall

Lambourde insulation board is a quick application system designed for low thickness insulation and building renovation. It is used for mechanical fastening to the floor or wall, providing: perfect thermal and acoustic insulation under wood or plasterboard finish. The material is 100% natural. It has unparalleled thermal and acoustic properties. The material is easy to install thanks to flush-mounted slats and provides mechanical stability.


Lambourde insulation board on the floor

Lambourde insulation board works in a very wide temperature range, from -180 ° C to 120 ° C. At very high temperatures, it does not emit any toxic substances such as carbon dioxide. The overall product density is approximately 110 kg / m3. The fire reaction class is marked with the letter E in the European specification. The sound absorption capacity can be as high as 59 dB when using this product. Thanks to the Portuguese solution, the strips embedded in the cork allow you to install both plasterboard and OSB boards.


Lambourde insulation board interior

After assembly, the lambourde board will be resistant to many chemicals, insects and rodents. It can be used in walls, floors and ceilings. It is also used to prevent cold from escaping from chambers where low temperature is required. Sometimes you can also find the application of vibration isolation of machines and devices. This cork is suitable for both construction from scratch as well as renovation and reconstruction.

Absorption of vibrations by cork in industry and construction


cork floor in train

Absorption of vibrations by cork in industry and construction combines performance with environmental considerations. With the development of infrastructure and urbanization, the importance of a high-quality acoustic environment for human well-being increases.

People around the world are more aware of the impact acoustics have on their daily lives and expect a higher quality acoustic experience.

On the other hand, trends in the areas of sustainability, recycling and circular economy require a stronger focus on waste minimization and environmental pollution. Cork-based sound and vibration isolation solutions are advancing to meet these three pressing needs.


anti vbrating cork composites in building's columns

Although cork has a higher loss factor than rubber – which is essential for the damping function and consequently energy dissipation – anti-vibration rubbers are insulating and offer very little damping.

The combination of the two materials as a cork-rubber composite provides additional properties as a vibration isolating material. No material combines process performance and handling with such perfection and diversity. Moreover it has resistance to mechanical and thermal effects as well as chemical compatibility in products that are easy to cut and shape for final use.


Absorption of vibrations by cork in industry and construction and the unusual properties of cork are currently being tested in high-speed trains. Special cork floors in the form of a lightweight composite structure are more and more often found in the inner floors of passenger carriages. There are aluminum alloy shells on both sides.

As with all mobility models, reducing the weight of railway wagons is crucial for energy consumption. Requirements such as the inclusion of HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems, noise reduction, increased thermal insulation, design versatility and safety regulations for collision structures usually have a common denominator: weight gain. Cork composites help reduce it.

Cork in modern art


cork stoppers large prtrait

In modern art, cork plays an extraordinary role more and more often. Even ordinary wine cork stoppers with the right hands can become a work of art. One of the contemporary artists who uses this ecological material is Daniel Kubini, born in Czechoslovakia in 1983. He uses wine corks to create spectacular large-format cork portraits.

In his studio on Wasserfeldstrasse he set a special example of this and his first major work: Freddy Mercury, ex-lead singer of the group “Queen”. With 330 hours of work and almost 12,000 corks, he created a large-format painting. His other work is a globe 160 cm in diameter and 2 meters high, which the artist spent 2 years creating and about 17,000 corks.


cork art image of freddy mercury cork made

In another part of Europe lives the Albanian Saimir Strati, whose fame echoed around the world. It is listed in the Guinness Book of Records with six of its enormous mosaics. Strati applied its cork mosaic to the facade of the Sheraton Hotel in Tirana in 27 labor-intensive days: 229,764 corks, spread over an area of 91.87 square meters. It thus set a new world record for the largest cork mosaic.

Even more spectacular works are done by Alexandre Farto, also known as Vhils. His enormous works are intended as an element of the city landscape. Known for his portraits carved directly onto the walls of buildings around the world, Portuguese artist Vhils recently experimented with cork, creating a gigantic, almost frieze scene of faces, words and patterns, entitled Contraste.


cork sculpture, cork relief

Elementy dzieła różnią się głębią, co sprawia, że ​​faluje ono w miarę przesuwania się wzroku, jakby fragmenty docierały do ​​widza. Twarze są renderowane w poplamione, prawie pikselowe zagęszczenie, pojawiające się wyraźnie pod pewnymi kątami i całkowicie znikające pod innymi.

Kontrast jest duży, złożony, hałaśliwy i zmienia się, niezależnie od tego, jak na to spojrzymy. Prace można obecnie oglądać w Covilhã w Portugalii, w centrum danych Portugal Telecom.

Ways to cutting out a cork


cork cube - circular saw

When laying floorboards or attaching cork as wall cladding, cutting to size is usually unavoidable. Because cork panels have a certain size, just like walls or floors. It may then be that the cork panels have to be trimmed a little on one side so that the surface can be completely covered and no edges are left behind.

Before you begin the cutting process, you will need the right tools. Appropriate cutting accessories should be considered. Which knife or saw you can use here also depends on the thickness of the respective cork sheets.

The following cutting tools are therefore recommended: a carving knife or a sharp wallpaper cutter, which are suitable for thin cork sheets.


Ways to cutting out a cork leaf

For this, however, you have to cut several times, only a light pressure on the knife is important, this gives you a clean cut edge so that the cork board does not break at the edge.

For thicker cork, you can use a jigsaw or thin wooden saw blades. When corking, saw slowly and without pressure

Before doing this, you have to clamp the cork sheet between the two screw clamps and mark the interface with a lath so that the cut edge is accurate.

The hand saw, on the other hand, is suitable for panels of medium thickness. In this case too, you need to clamp the board and saw it slowly.


Ways to cutting out a cork - CNC cork cut

When it comes to more sophisticated cork processes that are more likely to be used to make cork accessories for commercial purposes, two should be mentioned: laser cutting and CNC cutting. The first can be seen in the video below. It is mainly used in the manufacture of cork coasters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-FiA-RGQEg

On the other hand, CNC cutting is also no less precise, used with a cork of larger dimensions, can be viewed in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgrWMFLOvJQ

Cork powder and granules – ecological applications


cork granules on the road

Cork powder and granules are the main by-products of the cork industry, one of the leading economic activities in Portugal and other Mediterranean countries. Cork powder and granules – ecological applications for this product are anticipated, ranging from cork stoppers to agglomerates and briquettes for use as an adsorbent in the treatment of gaseous emissions, water and wastewater.

Cork powder and granules – ecological applications – cork biomass was used in its original form as a biosorbent for heavy metals and oils, and is also an activated carbon precursor for removing organic pollutants in water and volatile organic compounds in the gas phase.

The use of cork to solve environmental problems, namely oil spills, is the first commercial application of the cork potential of sorbent. The variety of raw materials that can be produced or extracted from cork has attracted the attention of many researchers.


Cork powder and granules - ecological applications

The chemical composition of cork has been studied since the 18th century (Conde et al., 1998), but full knowledge of the chemical properties of cork, and even less of all its potential uses and transformations, is not yet complete.

In addition, since the beginning of the 21st century, the Portuguese cork industry has been investing in research and development: in the period 2000-2002 alone, 35 patents were registered, while in the previous decade only 19 were registered.

According to the Portuguese standards NP-114 and NP-273, cork powder is a material with dimensions smaller than 0.25 mm (Gil, 1997). There are different types of cork powder depending on the origin: grinding, granulating or pre-grinding powder; cleaning powder, no pollution; finishing powder from cutting and grinding operations; finishing powder for agglomerated cork slabs; finishing powder of agglomerated cork and discs; insulating powder for cork slabs (Gil et al., 1986).


cork granules in rodent's cage

A mixture of these powders is considered “flaming powder” as it is used to feed boilers due to its high calorific value (Fernandes et al., 2010; Gil, 1997). Other applications include use as a filler, mixed with adhesives, to improve the quality of corks, production of linoleum, use in agglomerates, briquettes, agricultural substrates, chemical sources (extracts)

Being an environmentally friendly and cheap material, cork powder can also be used to produce activated carbons with high specific surface areas, comparable to commercially available activated carbon, or it can be used directly for the adsorption of pollutants as a biosorbent. It is also used commercially as an absorbent during oil spills

Cork as a core material for multi-layer constructions


cork metal composition

Cork as a core material for multi-layer constructions is perfect as a component material for various types of laminates and substrates. You can use it as a core in plywood or inside plasterboard. The extensive use of multi-layer panel material has made it the material of choice in several industries and applications such as flat, massive and multi-layer door panels, super insulating window frames, partition panels for office and marine applications.

Agglomerated cork can be considered a suitable material for use as a core layer in sandwich panels: it has high impact resistance, good thermal and acoustic insulation properties and excellent vibration damping properties (Gil 2007; Fortes et al. 2004).


wood cork plywood

Cork as a core material for multi-layer constructions is a natural material with a cellular structure with an interesting set of properties for sandwich structures, i.e. low density, very low liquid and gas permeability, high compressibility and dimensional recovery, low conductivity, chemical stability and durability (Pereira 2007).

Several studies have already considered the use of expanded cork as a core material, incl. carbon-epoxy sandwich panels (Reis and Silva 2009; Castro et al. 2010). Expanded cork agglomerate is a 100% natural cork product, made from waste and cork residues, or from industrial cork waste unsuitable for other uses (Diaz et al. 2003; Ferreira and Pereira 1986; Pereira and Ferreira 1989).


Cork as a core material for multi-layer constructions

Expanded cork agglomerates are produced using cork granules in a closed autoclave at high temperature (about 300 C) and pressure (about 40 kPa) without the use of glue (Pereira and Ferreira 1989; Baptista and Vaz 1993).

These process conditions lead to: expansion of the plug cells and thermochemical degradation of the cell wall (Pereira 1992), along with the release of by-products that act as natural glues between the agglomerate granules (Pereira 1992; Amen-Chen et al. 2001; Rosa and Fortes 1988a) ).

Such ecological, light and cheap sandwich panels can be used as elements of non-structural structures such as partition walls. The use of sandwich structures has been steadily increasing over the past half-century.


A cork in the attic – a functional solution


cork floor in the attic

A cork in the attic – a functional solution is a proven insulation made of breathable and diffusion-resistant materials. Such a floor does not age, has above-average soundproofing properties and is highly resilient. Due to the natural bubbles formed in the process of natural expansion of the cork material during thermal treatment, it has a very good heat storage capacity.

The choice of a cork also significantly affects safety in the event of a fire. Cork does not catch fire quickly, it only smolders and is a product of the so-called self-extinguishing. The numerous advantages include resistance to rot, fungus and mildew, and after a short airing it is practically odorless. Most often, such a cork is placed on the OSB boards or directly on the log supports.


cork roof inside

The cork is also suitable for roof insulation. Expanded cork, for example, is glued or nailed to the inside of the roof, which is not a difficult task in the case of a construction lath. These panels are lightweight and easy to cut. For this reason, they are perfect for warming and soundproofing. Cork insulation boards are available in various thicknesses. The thicker the sheet, the better it insulates. It is recommended to use boards about 6 inches thick to insulate the roof with cork. In order to avoid heat loss due to thermal bridges, the boards can be laid diagonally with respect to each other. In this way, the insulation will be more efficient in these difficult zones.

Natural cork in fishing


Fishing with a floating cork is essential for coastal fishing. Floats made of natural cork, formerly mainly made of wine corks, were and are often used in fishing and fishing. While anglers use it like floats of other materials, fishermen use the cork to mark the hook’s location by dragging it around the lines surrounding the fishing nets.

Cork is mainly used here because of its buoyancy and its ability to float. Such floats, unlike the factory foam and plastic ones, are delivered with a heavy weight, so that the set with them flies to the desired point without deflecting in the wind.

The unique structure of cork cells, which are filled with air, makes natural cork lighter than water. On the Internet you can find many fishing shops offering cork floats or fishing rods with handles made of natural cork, because it is not as slippery as synthetic handles.


In many places, mainly in the Mediterranean, it is used more often than other materials due to its availability. You can also make a cork float yourself with a little time and willingness.

The DIY tutorials suggest that you drill a 3mm hole in the center of the wine cork and stuff it with a bamboo stick. Using an authorized drill and sandpaper, give the cork plug a characteristic teardrop shape, trim the stick and on the other side finish the float trimmed with a safety pin. Then wrap the tip with thread and, if necessary, paint it so that it is visible on the water. Below you can see an example video tutorial on how to do it yourself at home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWUBnmM__cw


Cork granules, on the other hand, are sometimes used as a bait additive. This is the case, for example, in the case of carp baits. Thanks to this addition, cork balls used in fishing can pick up a typical protein ball of similar size. Since cork is a natural product and it floats very well, cork pellets are added to the groundbait mixes to produce pop-up balls or hookbaits with reduced density.


Printing on natural cork – is that possible?


As befits a versatile material, cork is also subject to various printing techniques. It’s not just about technical cork, but also about cork fabric or wine corks, for example. The technology makes it possible to preserve the natural properties of cork while giving it a unique look through various printing technologies

Cork materials differ particularly in terms of flexibility and strength, making them suitable for industries as diverse as construction, transportation and footwear. Corks are no longer just corks, you can do absolutely anything today with its.


A very popular method of printing is screen printing, e.g. on cork pads, cork balls. Our offer includes this type of prints.

https://cork-shop.co.uk/category/cork-pads/

In this way, you can achieve amazing results and, with a little inspiration, create a unique placemat at home, a pattern on a cork board on the wall or on a cork yoga mat.

The cork also uses digital prints, e.g. with advertising pads. Such marketing procedures can be seen especially in pubs where you can often find cork coasters for beer and drinks printed with screen printing or digital printing. Such washers are also used by various types of companies to increase brand awareness among their customers.

Recently, however, the quite fresh trend of images on traffic jams has made a sensation. They are made on cork plates. Some companies, especially in Western Europe, have the option of ordering personalized photos by printing, which look very attractive and can be a truly unique gift for a loved one.


Of course, these are not the only printing methods used. The photos can be put on a pad or a cork plate using the dye-sublimation printing method. Then these photos do not differ from their counterparts on photographic paper. The only difference is the unusual cork carrier. In the video below you can see how this technique works in practice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T14bt6M7nCI

Another type of cork, if not the most popular, on which the print is used is the cork fabric and the most commonly associated cork product, i.e. cork wine stoppers. In the case of the former, printing on cork bags and generally understood cork accessories is the most common. This industry is especially popular in Portugal and the multitude of handbag designs and shapes is stunning there.

However, the first print that appeared in the 18th century was that on wine corks. Wine producers and winery owners have labeled their products with this imprint for over 200 years. Each natural cork stopper shows the logo of the alcohol manufacturer when opened.


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