Benefits of cork, the best thermal insulation for your home

Did you know that cork, in addition to being friendly to the environment, is the best thermal insulator in construction? Find out why you should prefer cork over other materials such as plastics.

Most conventional insulation products have significant environmental drawbacks. A clear example is polystyrene and plastics in general, which are responsible for emitting gases and destroying the ozone layer.

Efficient insulation in this area could significantly reduce the level of carbon dioxide, which would also lead to huge savings, given the fact that energy costs are rising.

Among the most recent and innovative construction materials we have cork, an environmentally friendly solution with a series of advantages that make it very efficient. Thus, in this first part, cork stands out for all its benefits.

What is cork?

In the world the cork is known for being the stopper of the traditional wine bottle. This stopper is made from a natural product obtained from the outer bark of the cork oak, a species of oak that grows in the western Mediterranean region of Europe and North Africa.

The bark is harvested after the trees reach an age of 18 to 25 years; then it must be allowed to regenerate, which allows cork to be harvested sustainably every nine years, during the 200-year life of the tree.

Cork as a construction material

Currently, in the field of construction there are cork floors, subfloors and acoustic wall coverings. These materials are made from residual cork.

Regarding its production, in the case of flooring, cork granules are glued with a binder and then sliced ​​into finished products.

In the case of expanded cork insulation it is quite different; the same cork granules are used, but exposed to steam in large metal pieces. This heating expands the granules and activates a natural binder, suberin, which binds the particles together.

After these expanded cork pieces are produced, they are cut into insulating panels in a wide range of thicknesses, in both metric and inch-pound (I-P) sizes.

The interesting thing is that this material is 100% natural and rapidly renewable. It is durable and ultimately biodegradable. This, as defined by the LEED Rating System. GBC Green Building Council.

It should be noted that it is produced from sustainable forestry operations and that it is even a by-product of the cork stopper industry. If we consider the energy that is used in the shipping journey, and that produces the carbon footprint, shipping by ship is relatively efficient from an energy point of view. It is difficult for there to be a more ecological construction material.

insulation performance

Cork stands out for its excellent sound control properties. Expanded cork insulation at R-3.6 per inch has a density of 7.0–7.5 pounds per cubic foot and a compressive strength of 15 psi (at 10% compression).

It is intermediate in its moisture permeability, with a 40mm layer having a permeability of 2.2 perms.

In terms of its reaction to fire, cork meets the European Class E designation (the standard met by other rigid insulation materials), without the need for the flame retardants used in most common board insulation products. . A 40mm thick piece of cork insulation held over a torch will resist fire for 60–90 minutes, compared to less than 10 seconds for extruded or expanded polystyrene.

What options exist in ISOLCORK for construction?

Spray Cork

It consists of a very useful thermal insulator for interior finishing coatings or as facade cladding and for exterior ceilings. Its use is similar to applying paint to a house or building. projected cork

It stands out because it is a coating that provides thermal and acoustic insulation, is anti-humidity and prevents condensation due to temperature differences.

The qualities and benefits of using cork

In this list we summarize why you should prefer cork over other materials and insulating coatings that exist on the market:

Provides sustainable insulation in its production and friendly to the environment.

  • It is easy and quick to apply.
  • It resists high and low temperatures. This makes cork the ideal exterior insulation for different types of climate.
  • It is an excellent thermal insulator.
  • It is waterproof.
  • It has a high resistance to weathering, UV rays and sea salt.
  • It is breathable.
  • It is a material without solvents and free of VOC (volatile organic compounds, for its acronym in English).
  • It is made with natural raw materials.
  • It is elastic, which allows to isolate surfaces of different shapes and sizes, giving way to creativity in its use.
  • It is available in a wide variety of colors.
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