Cork sheets are popular as insulation material since they utilise the natural properties of cork to the best advantage. Cork is extracted from the bark of the cork oak tree, once the tree matures. It offers superior insulation performance and has extensive application in diverse aspects of the construction industry. Cork insulation sheets are used as insulation for external cladding and can be integrated with both wall and roof systems. Read further to appreciate the benefits of cork insulation sheets.
Properties of cork
The role of cork in its natural setting is to protect the cork oak tree from temperature fluctuations and regulate moisture and heat conditions. This function as an insulating layer is supported by the cellular honeycomb structure of cork. Cork is an organic, lightweight material and shows superior performance for thermal and acoustic insulation. Even in extreme conditions, cork insulation sheets do not form heat bridges.
Cork is naturally resistant to fire and damage by mold due to a waxy substance called suberin produced by the bark. On combustion, cork does not release toxic gases. It is impermeable and does not rot. Cork boards do not slump due to their light weight. By maintaining their structure, the sheets ensure adherence to insulation criteria.
Cork can be installed with ease either by way of adhesive bonding or mechanical fixing. Being a soft material, cork sheets can be cut easily to different profiles. Since cork is a self-healing material, it does not require skilled precision for cutting. The elastic properties of cork allow sheets to be manipulated to suit curves and complex facades for insulation cladding. Cork sheets can receive a range of surface treatments which may be intended for the building.
Cork products are natural and do not require the felling of trees. Once the tree bark is extracted and graded for quality, it is processed into granules which are placed in an autoclave and subjected to steam causing the cork to expand and bond with the natural resin. Thus, the manufacturing process does not depend on chemical additives and cork has the lowest embodied energy of any commonly used insulation material. It is a completely recyclable material. Cork insulation sheets are favoured for their superior performance, easy installation and eco-friendly attributes.