Composition of Cork

Cork’s structure is very similar to that of a honeycomb: each cubic centimeter contains around 40 million cells.
These cells and the spaces between them are filled with a gaseous mixture similar to air. That is what makes
cork flooring so remarkable.
The average composition of cork is:
• Lignin (approx 20%) – the binding compound responsible for cork’s unique structure
• Suberin (approx 45%) is the main component of the cell walls; almost completely impermeable liquids and
gases, it is also fire and insect resistant and unaffected by water; responsible for the resilience of the cork
• Ceroids (approx 5%) – hydrophobic compounds that ensure water imperviousness
• Polysaccharides(approx 20%) cell components that help define cellular structure
• Tannins (approx 5%) – polyphenolic compounds
• Remaining compounds are normally called extractable and are organic components of cork’s cell walls,
although they are not considered structural compounds of cork
Cork cells are a minute, straight-sided pentagonal or hexagonal prism. The cell height rarely exceeds 0.045
millimeters but decreases to 0.02 to 0.01 millimeters in the last cork bark formed in the autumn.

Physical and Chemical Properties of Cork flooring ?

Cork is a very good insulator and also gives a range of other uses in thermal, sound and vibrational
Near impermeability Cork is almost totally impermeable to liquids and gases. Because it resists moisture, it can
age for long periods without deteriorating.
Cork is easy to compress and so less liable to. It can be compressed to about half its width without losing any
flexibility and it is the only solid that can be compressed in one dimension without increasing in another
Cork weighs only 0.16 grams per cubic centimeter. Most of its volume consists of an air-like gas.
Elastic memory
The cushion-like cork cells also display what is known as elastic memory. When compressed they constantly
try to return to their original size, thus maintaining a tight seal. Because it is elastic, it is also able to
accommodate some temperature and pressure variations without compromising the integrity of the seal.