Cork rolls and cork sheets are made from natural cork grains, which are derived from the bark of the cork oak tree. These trees are mainly found in Portugal, and the cork is harvested on a sustainable basis. The stripping of the bark does not harm the tree in any way, and the bark grows back completely after each harvest.
In addition to being a green product, cork has a variety of unique characteristics that make it ideal for certain applications. Since cork rolls and sheets are derived from this unique material, they retain most of its beneficial qualities. Additionally, due to various grain sizes, cork rolls and cork sheets come in different grades and appearances to satisfy different needs.
Benefits of Natural Cork
There is no other material on earth with all of the properties and characteristics of cork. Most of the benefits of cork are derived from its honeycomb cellular structure. This structure allows the material to be lightweight with a low density. Additionally, it is very durable and highly resilient. Here’s a quick list of all of cork’s natural qualities:
- Thermal Insulation
- Sound & Vibration Reduction
- Fire Retardant
- Insect Resistant
- Rot Resistant
Given these qualities and its high durability, natural cork is suitable for a variety of applications that have long life cycles.
Given its light weight and flexible structure, cork is the ideal material for products such as bulletin boards, gaskets, floor and wall coverings, insulation material, tack boards, underlays, shelf liners and hot pads. Cork rolls can also be used for art & crafts projects; some ideas include coasters, stoppers and dart boards to name a few.
Because of its remarkable qualities, cork is also used in high-tech applications including car engines, dams and airport runways. The material has even been to outer space, as cork has been used as a thermal insulator in space shuttles.
According to Jelinek Cork, there are various grades of cork rolls and sheets.
Grades of Cork Rolls
BB13 – These rolls are primarily used as economically priced bulletin board material. It is also suitable for gaskets, shipping and spacer pads, and protective backing.
BB14 – This is a higher end material that is suited for bulletin boards and wall coverings. It is also suitable for certain silk screening applications.
QuietCork – This type of cork comes in roll and sheet form. It is widely used as a sound deadening underlayment beneath ceramic and hardwood flooring. It is also suitable for spacers, gaskets, insoles, and base material.
Linocork – This grade represents a fine grained cork material that has excellent durability and holds color well. The material is washable, self-healing, and resistant to bacteria. It is commonly used for decorative bulletin board applications, and can typically be found in schools, offices, meeting rooms, kindergartens, hospitals, and homes.
Grades of Cork Sheets
CR117 – A fine grain cork suitable for bulletin boards, coasters and gaskets. Also suitable for certain silk screening applications.
Self-Expanding – This highly technical cork will expand when it gets in contact with water to provide a perfect seal. It is suitable for jointing material in water retaining structures such as dams, reservoirs, sewers, sea walls and swimming pools.
Semi Rigid Expanded Insulation – This grade of cork sheet is the most environmentally friendly building insulation option available. While this material is excellent for heat/cold insulation, it is also suitable for wall/ceiling tiles and tack boards.
Given the durability and versatility of cork, you can’t go wrong by choosing to use this material in your next project. Whether you are good with your hands or prefer a simpler solution, cork has a variety of uses and benefits that will leave you satisfied.