What are the end uses of cork material?
Cork is a versatile material and has a lot of industrial and consumer applications:
• Industrial applications: Cork is used as floorings, underlayment, etc in many kinds of industrial machines to make them vibration proof and limit the damages caused by machine vibration. Different types of gaskets for industrial applications are made using cork. For the manufacturing of reinforcements and fillers, cork material has a lot of benefits over traditional inorganic ones.
• Building and architecture applications: Cork material is often used in the construction of buildings in roofs, walls, floor and ceiling because of its different properties like thermal insulation, anti-vibration, fire resistance, durability, etc. In big concrete structures like dams and tunnels, cork is used in expansion or compression joints to make structures vibration proof.
• Aeronautical industry: Cork material is also used in shuttle programs to produce parts of the protective heat shield in missiles and spacecraft.
• Automobile industry: Many of the car companies are using cork material instead of leather for making car interiors. Due to additional comfort and thermal behavior the steering wheel and the gear knob are also manufactured using cork material.
• Textiles: Cork fabric has still had very limited applications in clothes and home textiles products. This is because cork fabric becomes brittle and is very difficult to fold and sew. Moreover, the breathability of cork fabric is very poor which makes it unsuitable for clothes.
• Fashion accessories: The use of cork in the fashion industry has revolutionized the industry. Due to its lightweight nature, cork material is highly preferred for manufacturing comfortable footwear. When combined with other materials, cork fiber is also used to produce accessories like handbags, wallets, belts, hats and travel cases. Many designers use cork material for making sporting goods and leisure products
• Wall hangings are also made from cork material when it is combined with polyurethane coated backing.
• Designers are also using innovative ways to use cork material in handles of lids and other kitchen wares, doorknobs, crafts, outdoor and indoor furniture; and a lot of other products.